Stocks, Fed Meeting and Inflation: Live Updates

The Federal Reserve’s latest meeting has been the subject of a lot of conversation, with some people arguing that an interest rate hike is imminent. The Fed recently announced that it would be making changes to its bond-buying program, which will affect investors and consumers in many ways.

The “fed announcement today live” is a news article that will update you on the latest information about the Federal Reserve meeting and inflation.

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Following the Fed’s policy meeting on Wednesday, Wall Street investors will be paying particular attention to statements made by Jerome Powell, the head of the Federal Reserve. Credit… The New York Times’ Tom Brenner

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On Wednesday, Federal Reserve officials will issue a new policy statement, which is expected to signal that rate hikes are on the way as policymakers respond to a strengthening economy and maneuver to keep price increases under control amid a spike in inflation.

Economists do not anticipate the Fed to raise rates from near-zero at this meeting, and fresh economic predictions will not be released until March. However, the Fed’s pronouncement in January comes as the central bank shifts away from an economy-stoking policy and toward one that will hold consumer and corporate demand in check, making it a widely watched event on Wall Street.

Investors anticipate the Fed to begin raising its policy interest rate in March and to raise it four times this year, increasing the cost of borrowing to purchase a home, a vehicle, or new corporate equipment. Policymakers are already reducing a bond purchase program they’ve been using to boost the economy by keeping longer-term interest rates low, and they’ve hinted that if rates start to rise, they would start shrinking their asset holdings.

Officials have a trifecta of policy moves in the works, but investors are waiting to see how aggressively the Fed implements them. Will policymakers simply let their short-term debt mature without being reinvested, allowing securities to “run off,” or will they actively sell bonds to remove support from the economy even more quickly? Will they raise rates three times this year, as predicted by their December economic projections, or will they raise rates even more?

The central bank’s policy announcement may not answer all of those questions, but it will be followed by a press conference with Fed Chair Jerome H. Powell, who will be scrutinized by market participants for any indication of how quickly the Fed plans to move.

As prices rise at the fastest rate in 40 years, wage growth is strong, and the coronavirus persists, economists are beginning to wonder if the policy-making Federal Open Market Committee will pursue a rapid path toward higher interest rates, dashing hopes that the economy will return to a more normal trajectory in which workers will return to the labor market to ease labor shortages.

In a report previewing the central bank’s meeting this week, Goldman Sachs analysts wrote, “We see a risk that the F.O.M.C. will wish to take some tightening action at every meeting until that picture changes.”

Officials at the Federal Reserve anticipate price hikes to slow this year, down from 5.7 percent in November based on their preferred metric. Even yet, they’ve admitted that there’s a chance they’ll be lifted for an inordinately long period. Unemployment has dropped sharply and is on the verge of returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Markets have been swaying in the run-up to the Fed meeting, frightened by the prospect of the Fed acting quickly — and tanking asset values in the process. Low interest rates and bond purchases have aided company profitability and pushed money out of safe assets such as Treasury bonds and into riskier assets such as stocks. Higher interest rates may put an end to, or at least dampen, the Wall Street celebration.

However, some economists believe it’s doubtful that central bank officials would make any major announcements on Wednesday – they usually like to provide advance notice of upcoming changes, which they haven’t done.

Michael Feroli, J.P. Morgan’s chief U.S. economist, said in a note ahead of Wednesday’s meeting that “a case may be made for the Fed to stop short” on bond purchases sooner than its scheduled March end-date. He said that doing so would enable them to quit juicing the economy during a period of high inflation, but he doubted that this would happen.

Mr. Feroli added, “While this may be true, the Powell Fed has been wary about shocking markets on meeting days, preferring to foreshadow any pivots in speeches and media reports.”

Much of what comes out of the discussion might be determined by Mr. Powell’s tone.

Roberto Perli and his colleagues at Cornerstone Macro stated in a research note prior of the meeting, “We expect he will speak about the economy without sounding apocalyptic on inflation and pave the way for a March liftoff.”

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The “fed policy update” is a live blog that includes updates on the Federal Reserve meeting, the stock market and inflation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time is the Fed speech today?

A: The Fed speech is at 2PM EDT.

What does the Fed raising interest rates mean?

A: The Federal Reserve is the United States central bank. It raises interest rates by raising its target for short-term interest rates, which determines how much banks charge to lend money overnight. This can have a significant impact on different kinds of investments and borrowing costs in the economy as well as on inflation expectations and future growth prospects.

What did the Fed say about interest rates?

A: The Fed has said that they will not raise interest rates until the economy is strong and near to full employment. Because its been such a slow expansion, we could see them hold off on raising rates for quite some time before finally doing so in 2020 or 2021.

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