The Federal Open Market Committee statement was certainly a surprise in being more hawkish than expected. During the press conference, FOMC Chair Powell notably seemed more concerned about increasing inflationary pressures, while seeming very confident that the labor market would continue healing. Many questioned the Fed's commitment to its new framework of only hiking once inflation trades above its target on a "symmetrical" level.
Additionally, it ended the market's "Goldilocks" period in which any economic news would cause the market to rally. Good news was bullish because it meant that companies would be earning more money. Bad news was bullish because it implied a more dovish Fed for longer. Now that calculus is upended as good economic news could result in selling as it would imply a tighter Fed. By some accounts, the "Fed put" has been replaced with the "Fed call."
Tepper Remains Bullish
However, David Tepper didn't agree with this narrative and gave an interview to CNBC that many are attributing to the market's recent strength. Tepper believes the Fed did a good job in showing the market that it grasps the inflationary risk while remaining supportive of equities in the near term.
Tepper believes that tapering of asset purchases won't happen till the end of the year, and it would be a positive sign for the economy. Notably, Tepper disagrees with both major camps. One believes the Fed should crush these rising inflationary pressures, while another sees the Fed making a "policy error" in tightening too soon.
Two of Tepper's recent statements have also been accurate. In March of this year, he said that Treasuries should bounce back, while stocks remained attractive. In February 2020, he adamant in saying that investors were underestimating the virus' impact.
Tepper is one of the best-performing money managers of this era and has made some very high-profile calls that have proved prescient in the past. This included getting bullish on financials and cyclical stocks at the bottom in 2009 and correctly identifying that the market conditions and Fed support would ensure a long-lasting bull market in 2010. He also rode the strength of the 'FAANG' stocks over large parts of the previous bull market.
Therefore, investors should take some solace that Tepper remains bullish on the market despite some of the bearish developments.