Weighing the Week Ahead: Will the Fed Hint at a New Course?

With a light economic calendar including a lot of old data and an FOMC meeting, the choice of focus for pundits is obvious. Investors might well wonder what new information about the Fed might be available, but that won’t stop the speculation. Pundits will be asking:

Will the Fed hint at a new course?

Last Week Recap

In last week’s installment of WTWA I took on a very ambitious question: Would a slowing Chinese economy lead to global recession. Since you could write a book or two on this topic, I acknowledged that it was much too big for a WTWA theme. So why bring it up? I am dedicated to highlight an important issue each week. It was the facile explanation in a declining market but got less attention during a week of rallying. The punditry seemed confused about market strength in the face of their perception of weak global data.

The financial news once again focused on the sensational stories.

The Story in One Chart

I always start my personal review of the week by looking at a great chart. This week I am featuring Investing.com. In addition to several choices of index, they include versions for both cash and futures. The interactive charts are very flexible and highlight key news events.

Stocks gained 2.9% on the week, only slightly smaller than the 3% trading range in a week that was mostly straight up. You can see volatility comparisons in our Quant Corner.

Personal Note

I plan to take a week off, but it will probably include both of the next two weekends. Mrs. OldProf is not going, but she has approved and encouraged this. I’ll pipe up if something important happens, and I’ll try to do an indicator update as well.


An important aspect of investing – perhaps the most important – is a forward-thinking approach. Too many are focused on history and obvious current problems. This prevents them from finding the best long-term investments. Starting by identifying and understanding fundamental changes helps us find future winners. Artificial intelligence is such a theme. Consider the following facts from techjury:

  • By 2025, the global AI market is expected to be almost $60 billion; in 2016 it was $1.4 billion
  • Global GDP will grow by $15.7 trillion by 2030 thanks to AI
  • AI can increase business producitivity by 40%
  • AI startups grew 14 times over the last two decades
  • Investment in AI startups grew 6 times since 2000
  • Already 77% of the devices we use feature one form of AI or another
  • Cyborg technology will help us overcme physical and cognitive impairments
  • Google analysts believe that next year, 2020, robots will be smart enough to mimic complex human behavior like jokes and flirting