Market Inflation Hopes Are Like Second Marriage--A Triumph Of Hope Over Experience

With the August Consumer Price Index Summary still a day away, markets greeted this new week with sunny optimism that the US has passed “peak inflation” and that the future trend is downward for inflation—and thus will be up for stock prices.

That’s the hope. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, experience tells us that inflation may get a second wind and head upwards again.

As contract negotiations with unions representing 60,000 railroad workers drag on, the threat of a nationwide rail strike this coming weekend is, according to some reports, already disrupting some shipments.

Railroads late last week said they would begin halting shipments of hazardous and toxic materials starting on Monday to ensure safety in the event of a strike. read more

"They are locking out their customers ... and further harming the supply chain in an effort to provoke congressional action," Jeremy Ferguson, president of the transportation division of the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART-TD), and Dennis Pierce, president of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), said in a joint statement on Sunday.

Meanwhile, oil prices could be about to undergo another price inflation trend, as waning inflation expectations diminish the dollar’s strength in forex markets, creating an upward pressure on prices.

The global Brent benchmark rose to trade near $94 a barrel, after earlier shedding as much as 1.8% in London. Risk sentiment generally firmed across markets on Monday with equity markets climbing in Europe and the dollar weakenening sharply as traders bet inflation is near a peak.

Everyone hopes inflation has peaked. Experience tells us inflation is likely just getting started.