Wall Street economists on Tuesday were surprised by disappointing housing data, as U.S. housing starts fell 9.5% in April, compared to an expected 2% decline — the latest in a string of economic reports that have missed expectations both to the upside and the downside by wide margins. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is unlikely to signal any change in monetary policy over the summer, which could make trading stocks a bit boring, says one veteran trader.
Summer tends to be less liquid and a less eventful time in the markets, according to Keith Bliss, Capital2Market president, who explained to Yahoo Finance Live, “On Fridays getting toward the summer, by about 1 o’clock, everybody checks out. They’ll lock in their positions and go home [to] live another day. And, I dare say — I think throughout the rest of May and into the summer — we’ll probably grind sideways in the market. Maybe trend a little bit higher.”
Especially since the Fed isn’t making waves, despite high price inflation data at both the consumer and producer levels. Consumer price inflation jumped 4.2% for the month of May — the highest level since 2008. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) suffered its worst drop since February on May 12, the day CPI data was released, as market participants priced in a Fed that may be prepared to step on the brakes a bit earlier than anticipated.