Summer Stock

Call it an ironic twist. An actor named David Harbour, portraying Achilles in Shakespeare’s “Troilus and Cressida” in Central Park last week, ruptured his Achilles tendon in a fight scene. Mr. Harbour later tweeted, “I’m so method.”

No word whether critics considered his final performance a stretch.

Speaking of drama, the Fed elected not to raise rates at their July meeting, though left the door open for possible moves later in the year. As usual, the accompanying statement attracted more attention than the decision itself. Adjectives such “moderate” to describe the pace of economic activity, and the labor market as “strengthened” suggested the Fed’s inflation hawks are waiting in the wings.

We have commented before how economic data these days are Rorschach tests for market observers. You can draw any growth conclusions you like. On the one hand, record low interest rates and falling oil prices point to a slowdown. On the other, unemployment figures suggest reason to be optimistic on production and capacity.

Actual GDP numbers aren’t getting rave notices. The second quarter’s 1.2%, along with the first quarter’s 0.8% output, has contributed to the worst recovery since 1949. Nonetheless public equity markets remain relatively buoyant, despite recent selloffs, with the Dow up 5% year to date. This seems to reflect more a relative value play by global investors than a vote of confidence in corporate earnings.