Wednesday — the Ides Of March — is the a day of reckoning times three.
As I wrote earlier the Fed is concluding its two-day meeting on whether to raise rates. Although I am alone in this camp, I still believe Yellen & Co. will see many aspects of the economy that would greenlight a rate raise, there will be a continuation on the pause.
Despite what the bond market is saying with yields rising in anticipation of the hike, the Fed will cite falling GDP along with inflation slowing — due to falling energy prices.
I believe if you look at retail sector as the canary in the coalmine with growing bankruptcies and mall closures, must be on the radar of the regional Fed presidents and governors.
Wednesday also brings a hard stop on debt ceiling. This means Treasury cannot issue more debt unless it pays off earlier-issued debt paper.
Congress needs to approve a measure to raise the debt ceiling. The government does still have cash to operate for a few months, so there will not be an imminent shut down, but it does take some of the wind out of the sails of what the Trump administration can do in the short-term.
Lastly on March 15th the Dutch go to the polls to vote for Prime Minister. The anti-Euro candidate Geert Wilders, who leads the populist newish movement called the Party of Freedom, was the leader according to media in the Netherlands. Now Wilders, with his shock of dyed yellow hair, is said to be behind a more traditional socialist candidate. (Now where have I seen this before?)
Wilders is the equivalent of Brexit and Trump. He has run on a nationalist program with an anti-immigration focus, like the other populist movements of 2016.
And just like Trump and Brexit, the local media is saying Wilders is not going to win, so that tells me he should win handily.