In America, we’re always looking to expose the ways in which this great game of life is rigged. It’s part of the American identity, really, and it began a long, long time ago when Boston Harbor was suddenly steeped with British tea.
And so, to this day, we look out for ourselves and the rest of the common man. We know, unequivocally, that there are systems and scandals working hand in hand to keep the elite evolving and the rest of us, well…not.
This is why the timing of a recent stock market move is so incredibly interesting to many of us.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for President Joe Biden, quickly brushed off the question when it came in toward the end of her daily press conference Tuesday. No, she said, there was no chance that anyone in the White House leaked the November inflation report before its 8:30 a.m. publication. Too much fuss was being made, as she saw it, over what were just “minor market movements.”
Her flippancy was not warranted.
But there was nothing minor about the rally that took hold in the seconds before the better-than-expected inflation number hit the Labor Department’s website.
Stock futures suddenly spiked more than 1%. Trading in Treasury futures surged, pushing benchmark yields lower by about 4 basis points. Those are major moves in such a short period of time — bigger than full-session swings on some days. And they should get scrutinized by regulators, long-time market observers say, even if a leak is only one of several possible explanations for why traders suddenly started buying right before the report was published.
Experts considered the move to be rather alarming.
Significant “trading activity ahead of market-changing news is suspicious and typically worthy of regulatory agencies making appropriate inquiries,” said Jerome Selvers, chair of the securities regulatory enforcement & litigation practice at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden. “This is unusual, especially given the reduction in inflation that was reported, which was well in excess of what markets anticipated,” he said. “Someone will likely look into it, whether it’s innocent or not.”
The situation will undoubtedly fuel conspiracy theories and anti-government sentiment among Americans, many of whom have felt overtly victimized by the stock market-political system of late.