Will the Fed Really Cut Rates Twice in a Week?

This is what I’m worried about. The market got severely oversold and has had a nice bounce as a result. We are not out of the woods by any means. Most market participants will want to see a nice rebound out of the oversold condition, and another leg down (preferably with signs of capitulation). How long will this current rally last? It’s hard to know, but I think it could face some issues as early as next week.

After the Fed’s emergency 75 basis point rate cut on Tuesday, a full week before their scheduled meeting, the futures market immediately priced in another cut for their upcoming meeting. At first the market was expecting another 75 bps, but now it is down to 50 bps. Do you really think Bernanke is going to cut rates again next week? I’m not so sure.

The point of an emergency cut is to act early because they don’t think they can wait. In this case, they didn’t want a market crash on Tuesday (overseas markets were indicating a 5% drop of 600 Dow points). By moving a week early the Fed averted such a meltdown, but I would think there is a good chance they simply pushed up their move to accommodate the markets (we can argue whether this was warranted or not, but that is why they did it).

If so why would they cut again next week? Will they have gotten any new data in a week’s time that shows things have deteriorated since the last cut? If not, how can they justify cutting rates more than 1% in such a short amount of time?

Call me skeptical of the market’s thinking on this one. Next week should be another interesting week, albeit less exciting if you are long equities.