There Is Great Hope That the Bull Still Has Quite a Bit Further to Run

Well, the first quarter is behind us ... and what a first quarter it was, for it seems that every major U.S. equity asset class was up double digits (over 10%) and, as Ted Aronson mentioned in a morning note, "the spectacular quarter for all capital market returns (was) almost as good as 4Q18 was bad." In fact, he equated the returns with Rip Van Winkle ... for if someone fell asleep on Sept. 30th of last year ... and woke up this past weekend ... their review of stocks might have led them to the incorrect conclusion that not much happened at all.

Meanwhile, stocks are up to begin this new quarter ... and there is great hope (inverted yield curve be damned!) that the bull still has quite a bit further to run.

Today's move may have been buoyed by comments that China's economy seems to be turning around from recent doldrums ... which might be positive for emerging markets and give the U.S. a bit more bargaining power in the ongoing discussions with that country over trade.And, in an interesting development on this side of the Atlantic, White House Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow, is not only broadcasting the administration's view that the Fed should not raise rates ... but is calling for a rate cut of 50 bps (0.50%) ... as is Stephen Moore ... nominated by the President for one of the open Fed positions. The question comes up as to whether or not the Fed moved too fast in raising rates ... as the economy does appear as if it has slowed down a bit.

Just a short while ago it seemed that many were factoring in a slew of rate increases before the end of this year. How things have certainly changed in just a short period of time.

On a final note this morning Daily Shot (citing @dataisbeautiful as a source) listed the "10 Most Obese Countries in the World" and you will be glad to hear we are not on top ... beaten out by Kuwait. But we are a close second ... as ... not proudly ... 36.2% of our population are classified as obese. Yikes ... that's a BMI over 30. I'm afraid to get on a scale ... as it is easier to ignore admitting that I am quite possibly in this club.Related: The Fed’s Next Move May Be No Move at AllOh well. The diet will start next week as I have an event to go to on Thursday.There is always an excuse why I can't start a diet today.And it seems that many of us ... maybe too many of us ... are in the same ...about to capsize ... boat.Surprising to many, retail sales did not do so well in February... and, interesting, a slowing economy was cited as a cause ( CNBC)... though quite a few airline passengers might be opting for train tickets this morning... as a systemwide glitch resulted in quite a few cancellations and delays ( NYPost)We all read the article on wine being good for you ... and so many of us wanted to believe ... but now the claim is drinking wine could lead to health issues( Fortune)... but should you switch to water? While healthy, it seems the spring water you've been paying for might not be as pure (or "springy") as we've been led to believe ( NBCNews)One of the interesting things about meetings is many are held without purpose... or with participants who don't need to be there. Take control and make them worthwhile ( Time) Over the last few years, "plastic" has become a bad word... but it is all around us and some states and cities are trying to reduce its dependence ... and use ( ABC)... and New York City is doing something else to change the landscape ... trying to reduce congestion in the middle of town. A fee to drive through the area?Or is this just a way to grab more money? ( QZ)