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ITPM Flash EP41-Higher for Wronger and Fake AI Summary

Updated: Apr 29

ITPM Flash Episode 41 is presented by ITPM Mentor Raj Malhotra. He explains, in today’s financial landscape, one of the most talked-about topics is the Federal Reserve's approach towards interest rates, commonly referred to as "higher for longer." This narrative has significant implications across various asset classes, affecting everything from Treasury rates to the behavior of gold and tech stocks. In this detailed analysis, we'll explore these dynamics, highlighting the unexpected market behaviours and dissecting the underlying reasons behind these movements.

The Shift in Federal Reserve Policy and Its Initial Market Impact

The year started with the financial markets bracing for multiple rate cuts in 2024, anchored by the expectation of a slowing economy. However, contrary to these expectations, economic resilience has maintained a steady course without significant downturns. This shift has led the Fed to adopt a "higher for longer" stance regarding interest rates, surprising many market participants.

ITPM Raj Malhotra explains Treasury Rates and Market Reactions

At the onset of the year, the 10-year Treasury rate lingered below 4%, a figure aligned with anticipations of imminent rate reductions. Nonetheless, the subsequent climb above 4.6% marked a crucial turning point, suggesting a tighter monetary environment than previously forecasted. This adjustment should traditionally have dampened the stock market, yet the S&P 500 exhibited a robust gain of about 6% year-to-date, challenging historical correlations and expectations.

Gold and Bonds: Breaking Traditional Correlations

One of the more perplexing developments has been the divergence between the behaviors of gold and bonds. Historically, these two assets have moved in tandem — as bond prices rise (and yields drop), gold typically increases in value, and vice versa. However, over the past six months, this correlation has dramatically inverted. Gold surged by approximately 20%, while bonds dipped by around 10%, representing one of the most significant divergences on record.

Searching for Explanations in Unlikely Places

The reasons behind this unusual movement in gold and bond prices are not immediately clear. While some speculate about central bank purchases of gold, these actions alone do not fully explain the stark deviation from established patterns. Furthermore, the relative performance of gold compared to stocks has also defied expectations, with gold significantly outperforming the S&P 500, contrary to its usual less volatile nature.

Implications for Equity Markets and Tech Sector Volatility

Amidst these surprising asset correlations, the tech sector, particularly companies linked to the recent AI boom, has shown signs of vulnerability. For instance, high-flying tech names have rallied, often based merely on claims of benefiting from AI advancements — a phenomenon reminiscent of the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. This situation poses a risk, as companies that have surged on AI hype without substantial backing might face severe corrections if market sentiments shift.

The Case of Adobe: A Closer Look at AI Hype vs. Reality

Adobe stands out as a company that has proclaimed itself a beneficiary of the AI wave. However, the company's stock performance and market responses suggest skepticism about its AI-driven growth narrative. Adobe's example underscores the importance of discerning between genuine innovation and marketing rhetoric, particularly as the market adjusts to the evolving economic landscape.

Strategic Portfolio Management in Uncertain Times

In light of these developments, investors are advised to maintain balanced portfolios and consider protective measures like put spreads, especially in sectors that appear overextended, such as big-cap tech. The ongoing market conditions highlight the necessity for cautious investment strategies, focusing on companies with real pricing power and substantive contributions to their sectors.


As we navigate through these tumultuous financial times, the breakdown of traditional correlations signals a need for heightened vigilance and adaptability. Investors and market watchers must remain agile, ready to adjust their strategies in response to evolving market signals. With careful analysis and strategic foresight, one can navigate these uncertain waters, potentially capitalizing on the anomalies that defy conventional market wisdom.

In summary, while the market landscape presents challenges, it also offers unique opportunities for those prepared to analyze and act on complex, evolving patterns. As we move forward, keeping a keen eye on these developments will be crucial for anyone engaged in the financial markets.


The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial advice. The information presented is based on the author's research and understanding of the subject matter at the time of writing. It is important to note that investing and financial decisions involve risks, and individuals should conduct their own research or consult with a qualified financial advisor before making any investment decisions. The author and publisher of this article are not responsible for any actions taken as a result of the information provided herein.


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