Dog days of August are barking loudly

Well it’s the last week in August and although the living is easy, there’s little in the way of economic news to move the markets, since everyone is gone.

That’s the way the news business is. Need to find something to report on, so we have  the annual Jackson Hole retreat and a storm-ravaged Houston as the key drivers for the markets today.

While the central bankers met in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the market reaction Monday morning is muted. Neither Fed chief Janet Yellen and ECB head Mario Draghi gave the markets any tip on what monetary policy will look like in the next 6 months.

The simple answer is they can’t say because they don’t know and if they did say a direction it would be a self-fulfilling reaction once they announced it.

If Yellen said we will pause on rate hikes, then the market takes off again. Something the Fed is concerned about allegedly. The converse to pausing would send markets lower with the debt ceiling concerns greasing the skids, as well.

So no news is no news out of Jackson Hole. And since most trading desks will be manned by black boxes this week and next, look for one step forward and two steps back in stocks.

The possibility of a trillion dollars in damage caused by Hurricane Harvey to the Texas oil industry and infrastructure will be hanging over us for years in the form of higher gas prices.

It hasn’t been addressed yet since its too early, but look for the news today suggesting that the Port of Houston and all along the coast, the oil services industry has been so devastated by the category 4 storm that will not be able to come back online fully for some time to come.

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