President Donald Trump tweets something flattering about a foreign dictator, the market shrugs. He bombs Syria, the market shrugs. Major legislation gets blown up in Congress, the market shrugs.
No matter what happens, not only in
That could be a problem.
Extended periods of extreme calm historically have not ended well when it comes to the stock market. When measures of complacency reach multi-decade lows, as they are now, that generally means investors are underestimating risks and the market is susceptible to any shock that comes its way.
One barometer of market fear, the CBOE volatility index, closed Monday at its lowest level since December 1993 and fell even lower Tuesday.
That level itself has kindled a debate over whether the market is taking events too much in stride.
For now, though, the side of calm, cool and collected is winning. What's happening in Washington is not rattling Wall Street even as it generates plenty of water-cooler chatter on Main Street.
"It's so important to divorce yourself from all the background noise surrounding Trump that's making headlines. It's easy to get sidetracked," said Greg Valliere, chief global strategist for Horizon Investments and a leading voice in the connection between politics and the markets. "The more accurate focus would be on the fundamentals, and I think the fundamentals are really good."