The Day After FOMC? + Futures Trading Levels for Dec. 14th
Posted By:- Ilan Levy-Mayer Vice President, Cannon Trading Futures Blog
Day After FOMC?
By Mark O’Brien, Senior Broker
The tea leaves in recent weeks – measures of the U.S. economy and beyond – were already indicating the Fed. would leave interest rates alone for the third straight time, maintaining the target range of 5.25% to 5.5%, after holding its last FOMC meeting of the year today. So was the benchmark prediction gauge: the Fed Funds futures contract. Yes, there were a handful of softer data: household net worth and job openings declined, overdue loan payments and credit card balances rose, European data pointed to that region’s recovery easing off and China’s is still stuck in a ditch. At the same time, the monthly non-farm payrolls report came in better than expectations with average hourly earnings and working hours rising and the unemployment rate falling. The disposition of the Fed’s individual members’ expectations for future rate policy, commonly referred to as its “dot plot,” projected that they will lower borrowing costs to 4.6 percent by the end of 2024. That call for lower rates was widespread: not a single Fed official expected interest rates to be higher at the end of next year. Still, policymakers did not firmly declare victory. They kept alive the possibility of further rate increases if inflation should prove stubborn.
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