Kirk points out perhaps the most amazing fact of all: A New York Fed study (PDF here) showed that if you bought the market in the 24 hours leading to a Fed decision (and then sold it), you would have made 80 percent of the entire market's return in the 17-year period between 1994 and 2011.
David Lucca and Emanuel Moench, authors of the study, wrote "since 1994, the S&P 500 index has on average increased 49 basis points (0.49 percent) in the 24 hours before scheduled FOMC announcements," and "the statistical significance of the pre-FOMC return is very high; a simple trading strategy of holding the index only in the 24 hours leading up to right-before an FOMC announcement would have yielded an annualized Sharpe ratio of above 1.1." (The Sharpe ratio measures return adjusted for risk.)
With these type of consistent returns in such a simple and easy-to-do strategy, it's no surprise Kirk said "certainly investors trust in this central bank put."
Since the beginning of 1994, there have been a total of 30 rate hikes. In 29 of those cases, the S&P 500 was up year-over-year at the time of the cut. The only other time was a 1.9 percent drop in the year prior to the February 1995 meeting.