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The Fed-induced stock market rally fizzles as rising rates weigh

Thursday, 19 Sep 2013 | 2:56 PM ET
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This is it? This is the big Fed-induced stock rally? You're joking, right?

After starting on the upside, stocks have sold off midday.

Here's what's happening:

First, much of the rally yesterday was due to short covering, rather than real buying, so much of yesterday's action would not carry over into today.

Second, stocks have moved down as yields on the 10-year Treasury have moved up; this is telling us that while we may not go to three percent on the 10-year, we are not going back to two percent. The 10-year is reloading.

Third, the next catalyst for the market is a negative: the threat of a government shutdown.

Fourth, stocks are overbought and due for a pause.

Fifth, if the economy was good, the Federal Reserve would have tapered. A simple but profound truth. Stocks may be cheap relative to bonds, but it doesn't necessarily make them a screaming buy at these levels. The rest of the global economy is fragile. Europe is stable but hardly growing. The data has been better for China but it too is fragile.

Another warning sign: demand was weak in today's TIPS auction, indicating very little concern about inflation. That ties into the slow global growth story.

You can see this in the stock action today.

Economically-sensitive cyclical stocks are not doing much. Industrials are marginally higher as some big global industrials are up, but not much. Materials opened higher but most are now down.

A flatter yield curve is bad news for banks and, today, many regional banks are down two to four percent.

Other rate-sensitive stocks (home builders, REITS, utilities) are down as rates have moved up.


By CNBC's Bob Pisani

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

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