Yesterday, in a carbon-copy response to what happened in December 2013 when the Fed announced the Tapering of QE, stocks first sold off then, as if to validate the Fed's decision as being accurate, saw a dramatic buying surge which pushed them to close just off the highs. With bonds and gold selling off while the dollar rebounded, the Fed could not have asked for - or engineered - a better reaction, while markets, as Bloomberg's Richard Breslow points out, 'chose to hear the parts of the statement and press conference that they wanted to."
That was the easy part. The hard part now is how to ween the market away from the old narrative, the one which has pushed the S&P to record highs over the past 7 years on bad economic news, and to renormalize the market's own "reaction function" to that of the Fed. The problem is that from day one there is a major discrepancy between the two: as previously observed, the Fed did not deliver the desired dovish hike, and kept its 2016 year-end fed funds rate unchanged at 1.4% suggesting 4 rate hikes in the coming year, and which as Breslow notes means "being less dovish than the meeting previews suggested is now a sign of bullishness on the economy." This sets the Fed on a collision course with the market because "with the market pricing fewer hikes than the Fed suggests, someone is going to end up being wrong. If we do get four hikes next year, markets (read equities) will need to deal with a hawkish surprise. If the Fed is forced to backtrack, there goes the full-speed ahead theme."
What this explicitly means is two things: bad economic news is no longer good for the market - after all the dominant paradigm now is one of strong dollar=strong economy=strong S&P (ignoring that the stronger the dollar, the worse the earnings recession sets up to be, the sharper the full economic recession), and that as Breslow concludes, the "Fed needs to focus on the real economy and get out of the QE mindset. I suspect that will be easier said than done."
Finally, what yesterday's hike also ignores is that as Jeffrey Gundlach explained recently, the economy is at a worse place than where it was the last time the Fed could have hiked, the industrial recession is now official, the earnings drop of the S&P500 is far more steep than it was 3 months ago, and China's renewed devaluation is signaling that it is all uphill from here from the emerging markets.