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“The militarists in Berlin, and Rome and Tokyo started this war, but the massed angered forces of common humanity will finish it.” – Franklin D Roosevelt
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It’s feeling a little big Goundhog Day-ish this week as equity futures are down setting the stage for a fourth straight day of declines and treasury yields are higher. The main culprit again this morning (besides profit-taking) is higher rates. As expected this morning, the Bank of England raised interest rates, but what wasn’t expected was the size of the hike which was 50 bps versus expectations for an increase of 25 bps. Elsewhere in Europe, Switzerland hiked rates by 25 bps and Norway hiked rates by 50 bps. The title for the biggest hike, however, goes to Turkey which boosted rates by 650 bps to 15.0%, and believe it or not, the size of that hike was actually much less than expected. And you thought another 25-bps hike from the Fed was a big deal!
There’s a lot of economic data on the calendar this morning with the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (weaker than expected) and Jobless Claims (initial weaker, continuing better than expected) at 8:30, Existing Home Sales and Leading Indicators at 10 AM, and the KC Fed Manufacturing report at 11. Besides those reports, buckle up for a ton of Fed speak with Powell, Waller, Bowman, Mester, and Barkin all scheduled to speak throughout the trading day.
On the earnings front, five companies have reported earnings this morning and all five reported better-than-expected earnings and four managed to top revenue forecasts as well.
79 years ago today, FDR signed the last of the New Deal reforms into law creating what has become known as the G.I. Bill which provided support for returning servicemen in the form of living assistance, low-interest loans for homes or small businesses as well as funds for education. With that piece of legislation, the G.I. Bill unleashed a massive expansion in the college education industrial complex where the percentage of Americans with four or more years of college education quickly expanded from under 5% in 1940 to 17% by 1980. In three of the four decades after FDR signed the legislation into law, the percentage of Americans with at least four years of college grew by over 34%. If it was a stock, imagine what kind of multiple it would have traded at.
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