GDP disappoints, but it's what the Fed says that matters

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at a news conference following the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington March 18, 2015.
Joshua Roberts | Reuters
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at a news conference following the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting in Washington March 18, 2015.

S&P futures were weaker ahead of the first quarter GDP report, dropped about 4 points immediately after and then bounced. That's a fairly modest response.

Bulls argue that a weak first quarter GDP—which showed the economy grew at just 0.2 percent—was well-telegraphed and that the question is to what extent we'll get a bounce back in the second quarter.

Peter Boockvar, chief market analyst at the Lindsey Group, this morning noted that hopes for 2 percent-type growth for the full year was still alive, but 3 percent was now highly unlikely.

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What does this mean for the Fed meeting that concludes Wednesday? My bet is the members will recognize the weakness of the economy, but will say that many of the forces responsible for the poor showing—weather, low oil—will likely be "transitory."

The third factor, a strong dollar, may also be transitory if we continue to get these lousy numbers.

By the way, if you are looking for the impact of the dollar, you can see it in exports, which were down 7.2 percent, while imports were up 1.8 percent. A strong dollar makes U.S. goods more expensive for foreign buyers.

What does this mean for the stock market? I spent the day at BTIG for its 13th annual Charity Day event on Tuesday. (Co-founder Steve Starker and the whole crew did a great job raising several million dollars for over 150 charities.)

Read MoreCheaper oil should help economy? Wrong: BlackRock

Katie Stockton, BTIG's chief technical strategist, remains bullish, noting that not only are we breaking out to new highs, but the breadth of the market is continuing to expand, with more than one-quarter of the S&P 500 gapping up in the past two weeks.

That's a good sign. It's when markets advance and breadth contracts that you become concerned. It's a signal only a few stocks are pushing the indices forward. That is not what is happening.

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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