In our estimation, a good way for investors to remember the three pieces of information needed before markets stabilize can be taken from a key line in the 70’s Southern Rock Group Lynyrd Skynyrd’s famous song, “Gimme Three Steps.”
The line reads: “Give me three steps, mister–And you’ll never see me no more.” The lyrics to the song were based on a real-life event where the band’s lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant, was dancing with a lady at a bar when suddenly, the woman’s husband enters the establishment and threatens Van Zant to abandon the dance floor. Later, Van Zant wrote a song about the incident where he references asking the irate husband to just give him three steps to race out of the bar and if he does so, he will never see him ever again.
So, what is the tie in? We believe the first ten days of November 2022 will be an immensely important period where three key pieces of information will be given to investors that will greatly shed light on the future. By design, these three pieces of information align directly with our W.A.I.T. Theme for 2021. The dates and corresponding pieces of information are:
STEP 1: NOVEMBER 2nd
The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (F.O.M.C.) meets to discuss interest rate policy. With the F.O.M.C. to likely raise rates at least 50-75 basis points (0.50-0.75%) in each meeting in July and September; the November Meeting will give much needed insight on the future pathway of rate policy. This aligns with the letter A (Accommodation) describing the Fed and their disposition towards rate policy. Will they remain restrictive or move to being accommodative? We will surely find out on November 2nd what the Fed will decide, but we, like investors, must rely on future information before making a decision. Lastly, their deliberate and methodical decision-making process makes it even more likely that an elongated waiting pattern is probable.
STEP 2: NOVEMBER 8th
The midterm elections take place with both the House and Senate up for bid. Certainly, we are not political experts, however the equity markets historically have favored divided government. According to Politico as of the publishing of this document and noted at this link: https://www.politico.com/2022-election/race-forecasts-ratings-and-predictions/, a Republican takeover of both the House and Senate is a likely event, at this juncture. Again, like the Fed decision in November, we simply must W.A.I.T. for more information.
STEP 3: NOVEMBER 10th
The little known “fact-finding” agency of the US Government, known as the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), releases their all-important CPI-based Inflation Report for the month of October 2022. The reason for the grave importance of the number is that the CPI Inflation Rate is calculated on a year-over-year basis and the month of October 2021 was the first time the number eclipsed 5%, settling at 6.2% based on data gathered by Trading Economics and found at https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/inflation-cpi. Every month following the November print will be based on a previous higher number and will ultimately provide solace to those seeking a slowing rate of Inflation. But, like our two previous dates and corresponding decision, patience will be needed before we get there.
As we have stated in our previous quarterly reports, exercising patience, and waiting in general are very difficult to do. If we could somehow magically pull forward the date of the election, push the Fed to make quicker decisions and move the calendar ahead in time so the BLS could date-stamp the October CPI number we would. Like the songs says: “Gimme three steps and mister, you’ll never see me no more” translates to the following: If the proper three pieces of information are given in early November, Mr. Market Bear may just leave the premises and we won’t see him again for quite a while. Unfortunately, we can’t push the proverbial string and so we seek patience as we W.A.I.T. for the “Big-3 Days” of November.