Business Insider is offering a new feature in our “10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell” email newsletter where we interview top strategists, economists, and traders to get their thoughts on key market questions.
Thursday’s interview was with John Stoltzfus, chief market strategist at Oppenheimer.
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BUSINESS INSIDER: To what extent do you think poor weather has impacted this winter’s economic data?
JOHN STOLTZFUS: Reports we’ve seen have indicated that some 200 million people in the U.S. were touched in some way by these storms. That’s close to two thirds of the population! To us that says the weather had genuine material impact on retail sales, auto sales, housing sales, travel, hiring and more.
BI: What’s the big story that nobody is talking about right ?
JS: No one wants to talk about just how unprepared the Baby Boomer generation is for the years when they will no longer be able to work. Investment and Insurance firms certainly provide informational commercials as background in the media on this but it does not appear that Washington or the folks on Main Street are considering the unpreparedness as the potential for crisis that it may be.
BI: Are you optimistic about Janet Yellen as Fed chair?
JS: Yes. Have followed Janet Yellen for years prior to her selection as Fed Chair and find her to have the deep bench of experience as an Economist and as a Fed official — aka. the provenance the job requires — particularly for the times at hand.
BI: The stock market is roaring back to all time highs. Do issues in EM not have as big an impact on U.S. markets as people argued a few weeks ago?
JS: The recent “tremor effect” the Emerging market currency problems delivered to developed markets earlier this quarter indicated to us that indeed de-coupling has been debunked once again. That said, it has seemed clear to us for quite some time that it would be the U.S. first followed by Europe, Japan and the other developed nations of the world that would and are leading the emerging markets and the rest of the world away from what was the Great Crisis of 2008.
BI: What’s something you’ll be watching this week and next?
JS: The market’s response to the wrap up of Q4 earnings season as well as the effects of the economic data crossing the U.S. and global transom day- to-day. [This] week, it’s about the non-farm payroll number. After the disappointing figures of the last two months it’s, “Baby needs a new pair of shoes” time!
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