InternationalMarkets & Economy

When media focus is on stock market, tune out

Lou Barnes shares his perspective on international economy

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Takeaways: For many months, stocks have traded up on bad economic news, thinking that would mean the Fed staying on hold. This week’s news has been awful -- so bad that even if the Fed does lift off in September, it will likely be an immaterial one-and-done. China used to have a stock market; now it doesn’t. Weaning from state credit has left it with more state credit outstanding and deeper reliance on it. Calm down. Think it over, figure it out. Just because we see confusion and panic out there doesn’t mean we have to sign up. The media focus is on the stock market. If for no other reason than that, don’t pay much attention to the stock market. If it goes nuts in either direction, the authorities have to get involved, but we’re miles from that. However, there is one useful hint from the stock market this week: For many months, stocks have traded up on bad economic news, thinking that would mean the Fed staying on hold. This week’s news has been awful --...