US Stocks & the Federal Reserve - 2nd Quarter 2012

As the saying goes, “Don’t fight the Fed!” Many investment experts have noted the strong relationship between the market’s ups and downs and Federal Reserve policy. This chart, compiled by Doug Short at beautifully illustrates the relationship between Fed intervention programs and the S&P 500. 


While Operation Twist is scheduled to end in June 2012, Federal Reserve board members have also started to use stated future targets for interest rates as a means to encourage market participants to invest in stocks. As recently as April 11th, Fed Vice Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the Fed’s “Zero Interest Rate Policy” could remain even past the initial 2014 target date. If markets stumble, some think that a third round of Quantitative Easing may also be possible.

There will come a time when markets need to stand on their own two feet. Based upon the words and deeds of the Fed, those days may be several years away.

Hat Tip: The Big Picture, Barry Ritholtz.