The markets went bonkers Wednesday morning when it was announced before the opening that the Consumer Price Index had risen more than the usual suspects had estimated. (Who are those guys, anyway?) S&P futures dove nearly 50 points in mere minutes, the E-mini Dow shed an instant 500 points, Treasury paper plunged even more steeply than usual, and gold hit a $25 air pocket. Then, moments later, everything but the Treasury paper reversed — with a vengeance. Stocks, crude oil and bullion in particular embarked on steep rallies that continued for the remainder of the session. As for the news, the actual increase in the CPI amounted to 0.5 percent over the previous month, driven in large part by a jump in apparel prices. If ever there were a headline for traders to fade, this was it. Those who did reaped a bonanza when the markets trampolined off their own, egregious misjudgment. If Wall Street pretends to care about inflation in the future, we should remember this day before we buy into the phony narrative about serious inflation being right around the corner. It ain’t gonna happen.
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