by Rick Ackerman
Stocks stubbornly resisted gravity on Wednesday even though they could have used a breather from the abnormally steep, post-Brexit bounce. Presumably, the stock market’s buoyancy was due to the fact that crude oil prices reversed and closed moderately higher after being down nearly $1 in the early going. Although energy prices have been leading the broad averages by the nose for months, the effect has been somewhat muted lately. Perhaps the markets were so lacking in inspiration that they simply went on autopilot, letting old habits take over for a day? The strange thing is, minutes from the Fed’s last meeting were released intraday but produced no discernible reaction. Perhaps Wall Street has finally come around to the obvious — that any real tightening is about as likely as a Martian invasion. This is something I’ve been shouting for nearly a decade, but even now, with the Fed quite obviously paralyzed by fear, mainstream opinion still holds that tightening will come — if not sooner, then later. This is rubbish, but perhaps it will take a global economic collapse to kill the idea completely.