GDP numbers coming out of the US tomorrow are expected to show a decline in growth (-1%), which would confirm the Fed's comments of lower rates for longer. An opposite reading could prove to be more upsetting than the market expects. While one reading can not tell a story it could the another data point to push the Bayes' theorem of many inflation weary investors to start posturing for unexpected increases in inflation.
Another interesting note to look at would be the unemployment rate and wage inflation. FED president Dudley said earlier today that the Fed analysis could get unemployment much lower without having to worry about inflation. This tells me that the low participation rate and underemployed are playing a factor in the projections. This means that much is banking on the participation rate aleviating any large surges in employment by having more people look for work. Systemic issues of skill erosion and shifts in the workplace could prevent wages from staying low.
My contrarian ways have me looking for downside potential in these markets, and on an overall basis I keep coming up short. From a macro perspective almost all major economies are looking at easing rates or keeping them at current lows, this makes it very difficult to formulate a definitive case for betting against the current trend. There are some compelling segments that are very overvalued from a risk perspective if rates were to move higher, and that is a big if in this environment. Because of central banks desire to keep rates low for a longer period of time only one factor can really force expectations to change (and market direction to follow) and that is inflation.
Inflation is tame in many parts of the world or worse, as in the case of Europe where dis inflation has prompted the ECB to take action, which is reflected in bond yields around the world. A change in expectations could cause some re adjusting in the markets and introduce volatility into the markets again.
To that end watching for inflation out pacing expectations will give some insight into when central banks will have to stop increasing their balance sheets and start to slow the expansion of credit causing the market to lose its floor and the central banks ability to curb downturns. This will be important I the US in the medium term but more importantly in the UK, where growth is already moving ahead faster than expected, and China which needs lower inflation in order to focus more of keeping the banking system from freezing up by adding more money to the system.