Mar 6, 2023
“You're not going to get very far in life on the basis of what you already know. You're going to advance in life by what you're going to learn." - Charlie Munger
All eyes will be watching Fed Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell this week as he testifies in Congress on the US economy. (If you want to watch live, you can here). Politics definitely are at play here given the forum, however people will be listening closely for signals on 1) what Powell actually believes about the road ahead and 2) what levers he is/isn’t willing to use. (Reminder: big debates may focus on exactly how far the US Government should go to bolster the economy).
Tech layoffs are making headlines but the broader job market still remains strong. The tech layoffs have been, for now, isolated to tech. So when Friday’s job report is released, Wall Street is actually looking for signs of cooling. We know this might sound counterintuitive but fears around the economy/inflation being overheated may force the Fed to initiate stronger measures to slow us down.
“A key question for investors in the coming weeks will be whether data from February corroborate the view that the U.S. economy accelerated in the early part of 2023 or whether strong reports prove to be one-offs.” (Yahoo Finance)
Another set of data points that will help us triangulate how the economy is doing: retail earnings. Major retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Gap, Inc. will be announcing earnings this week. Aside from the financial results, many will be listening to the commentary from their respective CEOs. What are they seeing in their stores? Does this make them optimistic or pessimistic? Between Powell, the jobs report, and retail earnings, we’ll have a lot more information on the health of the US economy.
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