UBS says Fed Rate Cuts Won’t Move Needle

Investors seem to think if there’s a rate cut by the Federal Reserve, stocks will automatically rally. That may not be the case.

That’s the message from UBS ahead of the Fed’s policy decision on Wednesday. Traders are betting that the central bank would deliver an easing of monetary policy soon to provide the economy with some insurance and hence boosting stocks, but UBS believes such a move would do little to lift the market.

“When it comes to U.S. stocks, the Fed put is dead,” UBS equity strategist Francois Trahan said in a note on Monday. “In the past 20 years, the so-called ‘Fed Put’ has failed to revive equities the way rate cuts did in the 1990s. The two easing cycles of this millennium took place amidst severe declines in equities.”

The correlation between the S&P 500′s price-to-earnings ratio and the fed funds rate has broken due to the long period of low rates since the early 2000s, UBS noted. When the Fed slashed rates in 2001 and 2008 to salvage the economy from recessions, U.S. equities did not rally following the rate reductions. In fact, the S&P 500 fell as much as 16% in the 12-month period after the cuts, the bank pointed out.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza