Financial Markets Aren't Buying Media's Government Shutdown Hysteria
By Noel Sheppard | September 30, 2013
If you listened to Obama-loving media members in recent weeks, the end of the world happens midnight Monday if Republicans don't agree to immediately fund the government.
Yet with a shutdown only hours away now, the financial markets clearly don't seem to be at all concerned that what is happening in Washington will have much of an impact on the economy.
On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 128 points or only 0.84 percent.
As this chart demonstrates, in the days leading up to the budget deadline the market has sold off a bit, but is still less than 4 percent below an all-time high reached just a few weeks ago (courtesy BigCharts.com):
As you can see from the chart, though down from their peak, stocks are actually higher than when the month began.
Why is that?
Maybe having bought into the media's hysteria in July and August 2011 when stocks declined by about 20 percent ahead of that budget deadline, traders around the world have realized that these battles don't end up having much economic impact whatsoever.
Traders also don't seem at all concerned with the federal government defaulting on its debt.
Quite the contrary, they've been scooping up Treasury Bonds for the past three weeks as the budget deadline loomed (courtesy BigCharts.com):
The above chart is the actual interest rate of the 30-year T-bond. As prices go up, yields come down.
As you can see, the yield has dropped from 3.9 percent a few weeks ago to below 3.7 percent today, meaning more people have been buying bonds during this period than selling them.
If traders were fearful of a debt default, T-bond yields would be rising for people would be selling rather than buying.
Also not reflecting investor panic ahead of tonight's deadline is gold (courtesy TradingCharts.com):
Having traded close to $1,450 an ounce in late August, gold has been steadily dropping heading into this budget deadline.
In fact, it declined by almost $12 Monday settling more than $100 below its late August peak.
As gold is considered a hedge against turmoil, one would have expected traders concerned about what's going on in Washington would be buying gold, selling bonds, and selling stocks.
As this has not been the case, it appears all the media's hysteria is once again unwarranted.
Color me unsurprised.