What Inning Are We In? (Last of a Series)

Confusion over where we are in the cycle was clarified a bit last week. The chief of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, said at a NYC investor conference, “We’re probably in the sixth inning. It’s very possible you’re going to see stronger growth in the U.S.”

Mr. Dimon’s bullish view was supported by Friday’s job report, the highlights of which included a further improvement in the unemployment rate (to 3.8%), more hiring in May than had been expected, and better wage growth.

He also weighed in on the current market comparison to the pre-crisis period. “I’ve heard people say, well, it’s looking like 2007. Completely untrue. There’s much less leverage in the system. The banks are better capitalized.”

That’s not to say there aren’t potential headwinds. He identified trade policy as one area of concern. And that was before this week’s headlines of pushback from some of America’s largest and most durable global trading partners.

In a joint interview on CNBC today, Dimon and Warren Buffett reiterated their bullish views. Extending the baseball metaphor, the Sage of Omaha said of the economy, “It’s feeling really strong. I mean, if we’re in the sixth inning, we have our sluggers coming to bat right now.”