By all accounts, many large mutual funds are working to establish more conservative positions, given the erratic nature of the news and what some view as weakening fundamentals. As the Fed continues to tighten and withdraw money from the stimulus programs, it is unknown how the market will react. So, many are now thinking it makes more sense to be play it a bit safe vs. swinging for the fences. Recent Treasury market action only further confirms the caution ahead as buyers pile into bonds concerned that the economic recovery is beginning to stall and if Fed withdrawal continues, where will the growth come from?
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As stimulus is curtailed, valuations are now being questioned — are they too high for current conditions? Will we get real earnings growth to support a move higher? Look, earnings season is over, and although it was not a complete disaster based solely on rock-bottom expectations, recent macro data — industrial production, housing starts, consumer confidence, European economic growth — or lack thereof — mixed reviews on job creation and lower second-quarter guidance by U.S. companies are all causing investors to take a more cautious stance.