Posts belonging to Category FED



US economy grows by 3.2% in the first quarter

Exports rose 3.7% in the first quarter, while imports decreased by 3.7%

The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter and posted its best growth to start a year in four years.

First-quarter gross domestic product expanded by 3.2%, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said Friday in its initial read of the economy for that period. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected growth of 2.5%. It was the first time since 2015 that first-quarter GDP topped 3%.

http://www.cnbc.com

Machines driving a ‘fire sale’ is a top market risk in 2019

30-item list of the most important drivers of financial markets risks

Deutsche Bank has produced a 30-item list of the risks it thinks will be the most important drivers of financial markets next year. Produced by Torsten Slok, Deutsche Bank’s chief international economist, the list spans everything from a market “fire sale” driven by trading algorithms to Britain leaving the EU without a Brexit deal.

After a turbulent 2018, which has seen stocks swing violently, it is time to look ahead to what might be in store as we head into the new year. With 2019 less than two weeks away,

Obvious worries, like the US-China trade war and the Fed’s continued increases in interest rates, feature prominently, but more esoteric risks, such as a house price crash in Australia also appear.

Check out the full list.

http://businessinsider.com

Nasdaq flirts with a bear market; Oil in free fall

Dow sinks below 23,000

The Dow dropped 464 points, or 2%, on Thursday. The index closed below 23,000 for the first time since October 2017. The Nasdaq lost 1.6% and only narrowly avoided closing in its first bear market since the Great Recession. The S&P 500 declined 1.6%.

And US oil prices are in free fall, ending below $46 a barrel for the first time since August 2017.
http://cnn.com

Recent market ‘jolt’ will be first of many

Easy money era ends

Recent sharp selloffs across global financial markets are probably the first of many, as investors adjust to a world of tighter monetary conditions and the threat of economic downturn, the Bank of International Settlements said on Sunday.
The year has been a tough one, with big drops in European and Asian stocks and even U.S. equities recently slipping into the red for 2018 after a decade-long bull-run. The last quarter saw increasing fears for world and U.S. economic growth as trade war noise escalated and central banks tightened policy or prepared to withdraw extraordinary crisis-era stimulus.

http://reuters.com

Trump criticizes the rise of interest rates

The Federal Reserve has ‘gone crazy’

President Donald Trump knocked the Federal Reserve for continuing to raise interest rates despite some recent market turbulence. “I think the Fed is making a mistake. They are so tight. I think the Fed has gone crazy,” the president said after walking off Air Force One in Erie, Pennsylvania for a rally. Fears about rapidly rising rates helped cause the Dow Jones Industrial Average to drop more than 800 points Wednesday. The S&P 500 posted its worst day since February and clinched its first five-day losing streak since 2016.
“Actually, it’s a correction that we’ve been waiting for for a long time, but I really disagree with what the Fed is doing,” the President added. The Fed has raised interest rates three times this year and is largely expected to hike once more before year-end.
http://www.cnbc.com

3.7 percent unemployment rate in US

A 49-year low

For a solid decade after the collapse of Lehman Brothers touched off a global financial crisis, there was good reason to think the U.S. economy remained broken, from skepticism about the health of the labor market to tepid economic growth and the moribund rate of interest paid on U.S. Treasury bonds.

In a heartbeat, that seemed to change this week, adding facts on the ground to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s glowing portrait of a historically rosy and extended period of super-low unemployment, modest inflation and steady growth.
It came through Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) move to a $15 minimum wage, possibly setting the bar for companies nationwide. It came through a jump in long-term bond yields that signaled faith the gears of growth will remain engaged for a record-long recovery.
http://www.reuters.com

China will never use its currency as a weapon in the trade war

The trade war between China and the United States is intensifying

Premier Li Keqiang told an audience of global executives and policymakers that China would not weaken the yuan to boost trade with the rest of the world. “China will never go down the path of stimulating exports by devaluing its currency,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Wednesday.
His comments came a day after the United States and China announced that they would impose their biggestrounds of tariffs yet on each other’s exports, starting next week. That brings the value of goods hit by tariffs in the escalating conflict to more than $360 billion. President Donald Trump has threatened to hit another $267 billion of Chinese goods with tariffs.
http://www.cnn.com

Bernanke, Paulson and Geithner discuss the 2008 financial crisis

The three bailed out Wall Street to help Main Street

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner reflected on the financial crisis during a forum in Washington, D.C. A decade later, the three officials who helped pull the U.S. out of the financial crisis now struggle with the choices they made, particularly considering that the public still sees the moves as a bailout for Wall Street.
The three spoke during a forum at the Brookings Institution in a talk moderated by CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin, who wrote “Too Big to Fail,” a chronicle of the crisis told from the inside of those who experienced it first-hand.
“We stepped in before the banks had collapsed and we did some things to fix the financial system which are very hard to explain because they are objectionable things,” Paulson said. “In the United States of America there’s a fundamental sense of fairness that the American people have. … You don’t want to reward the arsonist.”

Why gold is plunging

Gold is supposed to be a haven

Why has the price fallen lately? Simply put, it’s the strong US dollar.

Expectations for more interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve have helped lift the value of the currency.
A stronger dollar often is a bad thing for gold because it makes the metal more expensive for international investors.
http://www.cnn.com

FED raises rates

“The economy is doing very well”

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday, a move that was widely expected but still marked a milestone in the U.S. central bank’s shift from policies used to battle the 2007-2009 financial crisis and recession.
In raising its benchmark overnight lending rate a quarter of a percentage point to a range of 1.75 percent to 2 percent, the Fed dropped its pledge to keep rates low enough to stimulate the economy “for some time” and signaled it would tolerate inflation above its 2 percent target at least through 2020.
“The economy is doing very well,” Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said in a press conference after the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee released its unanimous policy statement after the end of a two-day meeting.

Britain unveils new fintech plans, including cryptocurrencies

G20:  no consensus for global regulation of cryptocurrencies

Britain announced a task force on Thursday to exploit the technology underpinning cryptoassets, such as bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as part of new plans to help fintech companies find more customers.

British finance minister Philip Hammond said he was committed to helping fintech grow and flourish by taking a series of domestic steps and forging links overseas.

“As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology,” Hammond told a fintech conference hosted by the finance ministry.

Investors have flocked to cryptocurrencies like bitcoin despite wild price swings.

Regulators have warned that investors could lose all their money, but see promise in the blockchain technology that underpins cryptoassets.

Britain’s announcement comes after finance ministers from the Group of 20 richest economies (G20) were unable this week to find enough consensus for global regulation of cryptocurrencies.

http://www.reuters.com

U.S. jobless claims back off 48-year low

The labor market to be near full employment

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rebounded last week from a more than 48-year low, but the trend continued to point to robust labor market conditions.

That was underscored by other data on Thursday showing job cuts announced by U.S.-based employers fell 20 percent in February. Federal Reserve officials consider the labor market to be near or a little beyond full employment. The tight jobs market is seen boosting wage growth and spurring inflation.

“The well looks increasingly dry to many companies seeking skilled workers, and time will tell whether the lack of labor will slow the overall economy in future months,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

http://www.reuters.com…  March 09, 2018

Stocks or Bonds: What Happens When Rates Rise?

Basic rules

Although there are no specific rules about how bonds and dividend-paying stocks respond to rising interest rates, there are some broad tendencies you may want to consider, suggests Mary Ann Bartels, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Portfolio Strategy.
With bonds, the “coupon rate” is the interest rate that an issuer uses to calculate regular interest payments to investors. The longer the term of a bond, the higher the coupon is likely to be; you’re paid more to wait longer to get your principal back. Higher risk, too, affects the coupon, with high-yield bonds from less solid companies offering more generous interest payments than you’ll get from higher-rated corporations or from U.S. Treasury bonds.

http://www.ml.com…  Febuary 23, 2018

Stronger Economy Boosts Chance for Rate Hikes

 Republican tax cuts enacted in December boost growth

Federal Reserve officials at their January meeting believed that a brightening global economic picture and the effects of recently passed tax cuts had raised the prospect for solid growth and continued interest rate increases.
The minutes of the Fed’s Jan. 30-31 discussions showed that the officials were more optimistic about the economy than they had been in December. They noted a stronger U.S. and global economy as well as expectations that the Republican tax cuts enacted in December would boost growth.
The minutes said “a majority of participants noted that a stronger outlook for economic growth raised the likelihood that further gradual policy firming would be appropriate.”

http://www.memphisdailynews.com…  Febuary 22, 2018

Inflation Is About to Appear ‘With a Vengeance,’

More Inflationary Pressures Building Up

Paul Tudor Jones said inflation is about to appear “with a vengeance” and may force the new Federal Reserve chair to accelerate interest-rate hikes. The hedge fund manager said policy has focused on a “low inflation problem” and years of near-zero rates amid economic expansion will have “painful” consequences. Policy makers should have been more aggressive in tightening policy and “rejecting the fiscal impropriety associated with this most recent tax cut,” he said.

http://www.bloomberg.com...  Febuary 07, 2018