Why this stock market could be getting ready to party like it’s 1999

It’s March madness, and not just the kind that gets a KU Jayhawk alum all hopeful.

Wall Street swung back around and recaptured nearly all of that ground lost on Tuesday’s meltdown after a single piece of data fired up some hopes that the Fed could push back its interest-rate plans to September from summer.

The dollar, which has been calling the shots for stocks lately, helped a little. Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, says there’s some talk that next week’s Fed statement may include a dollar nod. And given how “stretched the rally had become, any belief that the Fed will try to curb gains in the dollar has caused traders to pare back on some very tidy profits.


INTC, -4.73%

 became the latest corporate dollar-whiner yesterday. No doubt Janet and the crowd heard.

However, even if the Fed happens to flag any dollar concerns, it may not be enough to knock the buck off its pedestal. See our Call of the Day for more on the mighty dollar. Besides, as Marshall Glitter over at IronFX points out, the U.S. economy is mostly made up of small companies selling to locals, so large-cap complaints (and there could be more to come) may get lip service from Fed, and not much else.

If this week has taught us anything, it’s that the market has to just get used to a) a stronger dollar and b) a 2015 Fed interest-rate hike. So learn to ride out the volatility that comes with that.

We’ve reached the final trading day of the week and the SP is still positive (OK, barely) on the year. If you’re in the glass-is-half-full camp, our Chart of the Day should cheer you up, as it shows the Fed hike isn’t going to kill the beloved bull. At least not soon.

As for the half-empty camp, remember it’s Friday the 13th. Avoid ladders and even the most adorable black kittens.

Key market gauges

A Friday follow-through on Thursday’s big gains? We’ll see. So far, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

YMH5, -0.13%

 and the SP 500

ESH5, -0.11%

 are just nudging into the black. The Nikkei

NIK, +1.39%

 closed above 19,000 for the first time in 15 years. Europe

SXXP, -0.17%

 is in the black, but cautiously so. Crude

CLJ5, -2.27%

 is also barely up, and gold

GCJ5, +0.18%

 is showing gains. The dollar

DXY, +0.39%

 is up just a little versus its beat-up rivals.

The quote

“I think that’s a great idea.” President Barack Obama reads some mean tweets on Jimmy Kimmel’s show last night. That was his response to this so-called meaning: “Is there any way we could fly Obama to some golf course halfway around the world and just leave him there?”

The economy

A tiny lineup. Producer prices are coming at 8:30 a.m., which analysts expect to rise 0.4% in February after a 0.8% plunge in January. After that, consumer sentiment is due around 10 a.m.

The buzz


HLF, +0.45%

 may be on the move. The Wall Street Journal reported that federal investors are interviewing people hired by hedge-fund billionaire Bill Ackman over a possible stock-manipulation probe. Shares got a late bump after that news.

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