The FOMC blackout period is now underway meaning there will be no communications from FOMC members until the day of the May meeting. As we detailed yesterday, performance outside of and during blackout periods has been pretty weak during the current roughly year-long tightening cycle. However, things have been improving more recently. As for Fed days themselves, the opposite has been true.
In the chart below, we show the performance of the S&P 500 on the day of FOMC rate decisions going back to 1994. Earlier in the current tightening cycle, Fed days offered the market a brief respite from selling. In fact, some of the strongest Fed days (in terms of S&P 500 performance) of the past few decades occurred last year as the rolling 10-meeting average hit a more than decade-long high in July. With that being said, that average has been rolling over with weaker reactions to the FOMC in the past few meetings. In other words, to some extent, S&P 500 performance during and outside of blackout periods and on Fed days has begun to flip the script in the past few FOMC meetings.
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