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Wall Street Focuses on Debt Ceiling

Wall Street Focuses on Debt Ceiling

| May 17, 2023

Would it surprise you to hear that investors have moved past worrying about inflation? They have, at least for now.

Wall Street has shifted its attention to Washington’s budget negotiations and how the debt ceiling will be resolved. But how long will that shift in focus last? As you can see from the accompanying table, 100% of people surveyed by JP Morgan anticipate it will get resolved in the next few weeks.

So after Wall Street moves past the debt ceiling, what’s next?

Attention may come back around to inflation and the Fed’s monetary policy. As you can see from the other table, that’s what 25 institutional investors surveyed by the New York Fed ranked as one of their top concerns for the next 12-18 months. But banking-sector stresses and the U.S.-China tensions also could come into focus. Or maybe attention will shift to real estate. Or perhaps Russia-Ukraine.

Do you see the pattern? Wall Street always has to have something to worry about. That’s where the expression, “Wall Street climbs a wall of worry” originated. It means financial markets continue to navigate an endless stream of economic and political uncertainty.

I’m watching the debt ceiling negotiations and keeping an eye on how the Fed is managing inflation with its monetary policy. If anything comes up that changes my long-term outlook, I’ll let you know. But for now, let’s leave the worrying to the “experts.”