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September 18, 2015

Equities Fall, Treasuries Rally in Fallout from Yesterday's FOMC Announcement

Equities and oil prices declined while Treasuries continued to rally following yesterday’s more dovish than expected FOMC.  The Fed decided to maintain its federal funds target rate at 0% to 0.25%, where it has been since December of 2008, citing global financial market volatility and sluggish inflation in the US.  During the post-meeting press conference, Fed Chair Yellen said the outlook for global growth has become less certain, and US financial market conditions have essentially already tightened due to the recent fall in stock prices and stronger dollar.  The committee acknowledged that the labor market is generally where it needs to be, forecasting 5% unemployment at year end, but they remain short of being “reasonably confident” that they will achieve the 2% inflation target in the medium term.  A majority of Fed officials (13 out of 17) still predict a rate increase this year, and Yellen emphasized that “every meeting is a live meeting”, meaning October is in play even though there is currently no scheduled press conference.  As expected, Richmond Fed President Lacker was the lone dissenter, preferring to raise the target rate by 25 bps.

US data is light today, so trading is likely to continue to be based around fallout from the Fed and corporate issuance.  There’s also an election in Greece this weekend, which is currently considered too close to call.  This will mark the fifth general election in the past six years, and the results are expected sometime late Sunday.  The latest University of Macedonia poll has former Prime Minister Tsipras’ Syriza party tied with the right-wing New Democracy party.  Greece has been less of a story in recent weeks having secured a bailout (and being overshadowed by China), but it’s worth noting that Greece’s 10-year bond hit a 2015 low this morning.

 

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