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Consumer Confidence Hits 18-Year High!

Stocks closed mixed yesterday ahead of this afternoon's FOMC Meeting Announcement.

Traders are expecting the Fed to raise rates by another 25 basis points. This is widely expected and is in line with the Fed's estimated 3-4 rates hikes this year. This shows the Fed's confidence in the economy and their vigilance in guarding against inflation.

But that's not why the market was mixed.

I chalk it up to lingering concerns regarding trade with China. This was underscored by President Trump's speech to the UN yesterday, where he criticized China's trade practices, and reiterated the U.S. resolve in pursuing free and fair trade.

He also took a harsh tone on Iran in his speech which created more volatility with energy prices.

None of this came as a surprise. But the markets traded on both sides of unchanged before, during, and after his speech.

In other news, yesterday's retail sales numbers via the Redbook report showed same store sales up 5.8% y/y vs. last month's snapshot of 5.4%. This was a strong showing and remains just under the 13-year high they notched at the beginning of the month.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index jumped to 29 this month, up from last month's 24 and views for 20. Shipments and new orders led the way, as well as an acceleration in backlogs.

And Consumer Confidence soared to 138.4, well above expectations for 131.7. Analysts noted this was an 18-year high!

The economy is clearly showing its strength.

Same for the consumer.

And that puts the market in a fantastic position for more gains to come.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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