Unexpectedly Intriguing!
December 21, 2018

On Monday, we announced that we were wrapping up "our S&P 500 Chaos series until 2019, unless market events prompt a special edition."

Well, market events have prompted this special edition! In falling by more than 2% on Friday, 21 December 2018, the S&P 500 finally completed its fifth Lévy flight event of 2018, as investors fully shifted their forward-looking attention from 2019-Q1 out toward the more distant future quarters of 2019Q3 and 2019Q4, where year over year dividend growth has long been projected to significantly slow.

Alternative Futures - S&P 500 - 2018Q4 - Standard Model - Snapshot on 21 Dec 2018

We're now about to quote ourselves on the origin of the U.S. stock market's latest Lévy flight:

The U.S. stock market's fifth Lévy flight event of 2018 began on 4 December 2018 as investors reacted to the partial inversion of the U.S. Treasury yield curve and to New York Fed President John Williams' tone-deaf, hawkish comments promising more rate hikes well into 2019 on that date.

That's relevant today, because once again, New York Fed president John Williams' tone-deaf and hawkish comments have played a major role in sinking the S&P 500 (Index: SPX) to its lowest point in 2018, while President Trump's trade advisor Peter Navarro also contributed. Here are three key headlines and links to the stories behind them to provide context:

ZeroHedge put together the following chart to illustrate what happened to stock prices as investors absorbed the specific things they said that drove the day's considerable volatility in the stock market.

ZeroHedge: 2018-12-21 E-mini Dow Futures

Unless the Fed starts really listening to markets, the legacy of both Fed Chair Powell and New York Fed president Williams may lie in having needlessly pushed the U.S. economy into recession because they chose to keep the Fed's policies on autopilot.

Let's tie a bow on the major market-moving news headlines from the final full week of trading in 2018....

Monday, 17 December 2018
Tuesday, 18 December 2018
Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Thursday, 20 December 2018
Friday, 21 December 2018

Elsewhere, Barry Ritholtz dividend the week's major economics and markets news into six positives and seven negatives.

That’s really it for our S&P 500 chaos series until 2019 - we'll post one last time in 2018 with the Biggest Math Story of the year. Enjoy the holidays, and we’ll be back to catch up the latest major market news up in January!

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