Stocks Follow the Numbers to a Rally


Richard Drew/Associated Press

Don’t follow the money. Follow the numbers. You just need to know which numbers.

The economic numbers have been uniformly weak for three months, with the March jobs report putting a wan bow on the entire soggy package. Profit growth in the first quarter is going to be, well, there isn’t going to be any profit growth in the first quarter, at least not for the S&P 500. There may not be any in the second quarter either.

The Fed is still split on when to raise rates, but is keeping June open. “I expect that, unless incoming economic reports diverge substantially from projections, the case for raising rates will remain strong at the June meeting,” the Richmond Fed’s Jeffrey Lacker said on Friday. Mr. Lacker is a voting member of the FOMC, the rate-setting committee. The market’s been leaning toward September, or later, so one might reasonably think, given the market’s near obsession with Fed policy, that the market would be concerned by that…

Stocks Follow the Numbers to a Rally

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