Widespread consensus combined with control mechanisms goes a long way.
For years now, anybody who knows anything has known that official reports of growth, inflation, unemployment, and general economic performance have been rubbish...but everyone agreed to abide by the information. And it worked.
It's like the dysfunctional family that refuses to publicly articulate that a certain family member is gay. Everybody knows, but nobody talks about it, and pretends otherwise.
It works, until somebody refuses to cooperate. At that point control mechanisms are invoked to silence or marginalize the dissenting voice.
As I have said for years, everybody is in the US market: Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Swiss, Saudis, everybody. Why would anybody be rocking the boat now in particular? Or, why would control mechanisms either not be invoked, or be failing, now in particular?
As big as it seems, the market is a small place, controlled by a few. Look at mainstream financial media: tiny, only a handful of outlets in chorus. Look at the Fed: tiny, only a handful of governors voting. Look at regulators: tiny, only a handful of key positions. Look at owners: tiny, only a handful of funds having huge ownership. Look at SIFI's: tiny, very small in number.
What exactly is happening, and why now? The only thing I can think of is: Trump. The problem that is Trump is the only thing that has changed--and as soon as he's gone, everything will rocket once again, for a time. Many believe that as soon as the Dems get in, everything will tank because taxes, deficit, and regulatory burden will increase, etc.. Fuhggedaboudit. As soon as Trump is gone, the angels will be heard on high and the markets will soar, regardless of what the Fed does with rates, and regardless of whether they continue QT or not...net result will be QE, btw.
This lull seems to me to be a good time to buy certain things, the questions are what, and at what price. There will be an upswing, and it may last a while, because the whole time, the dollar will be devaluing as a counter-effect.
Don't count out consensus, or the effect of lack of consensus. It is all about sentiment, and predictability(trust), same as it ever has been.