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U.S. consumers forecast more spending than a year ago: NY Fed

“NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. consumers expect to spend more money in 2019 than they did a year ago, data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed on Tuesday” reports businessinsider.com. Households expect larger increases in spending than they forecast the year prior on items including clothing, housing and transportation, data from the Survey of Consumer Expectations conducted in December showed. Source: businessinsider.com

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Markets News Regulators 

Fed Chairman Concerned Over Shrinking Bank Market

“Reports said Powell noted that looser community bank regulations may help keep branches open” reports pymnts.com. That may be good news for banks, but some policymakers are concerned that industry consolidation is reducing access to financial services in rural areas.He pointed to the Community Reinvestment Act, which encourages banks to loan to small businesses.Bank mergers aren’t the only factor behind closing bank branches, however.As concerns are raised about how industry consolidation might impact competition, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is warning that it could hinder small businesses’ access to capital…

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Markets News Regulators Stocks 

As Wall Street rallies on US-China trade hopes, bond investors may be worried about a recession

“However, the bond market is a different story” writes Patti Domm for cnbc.com. “The bond market is betting we are not going to see stabilization of growth, and that the China trade war drags on.”. But when you look at the bond market, Treasury yields remain surprisingly low, reflecting fears about a weakening economy and lingering uncertainty.The stock market is euphoric over the idea that a trade deal between the U.S. and China will fix the economy and boost earnings.Buyers have been jumping into both markets, and the broader stock…

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Markets News Regulators 

The Fed could move markets this week when it tells us what it was thinking at the January meeting

“In what felt like an about face from its December meeting, Powell also emphasized that the Fed would be flexible with its balance sheet” writes Yuri Gripas for cnbc.com. Stocks were higher in the past week, even with Thursday’s sell off on stunningly weak December retail sales data.The Fed calmed the markets in late January when it said it could stop raising interest rates, but investors are watching the release of its meeting minutes for any sign the Fed could veer off its easy path.There could be discussion in the…

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Fed policymakers see one U.S. rate hike, or none, as growth slows

“In December, when the Fed raised interest rates a fourth time that year, most Fed policymakers penciled in two more rate hikes for this year” reports businessinsider.com. This week, as disappointing U.S. retail sales and industrial production data raised the prospect that the U.S. economy will slow more quickly than expected, three Fed policymakers gave an answer: one rate hike, or perhaps none at all.The first broad read of their views will come in March, when the Fed next releases forecasts for the economy and rates. Source: businessinsider.com

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Markets News Regulators Stocks 

Get used to wild swings for this stock market, and thank the Fed for that, says analyst

“Our call of the day, from Seema Shah, global investment strategist at Principal Global Investors, is less sanguine” writes Markets Reporter for marketwatch.com. A big data dump awaits, on the heels of that dismal retail sales data.Or, if the Fed was simply propping up markets, renewed fears of inflation and rising interest rates are likely.Shah worries that the market has swung from “excessively pessimistic to excessively optimistic,” and may be underestimating coming headwinds from a global slowdown.Investors have been haunted by three big themes this week: trade talks, U.S. politics…

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USD: US CPI: Nothing In It To Sway The Fed From Doing ‘Nothing’ For Now – CIBC

“Core price were up 0.2%, on expectations, with the 12 month rate holding at 2.2% (a tick above consensus)” writes Yohay’s Google Profile for forexcrunch.com. Nothing in this to sway the Fed from doing what its doing now, which is nothing at all on rates until the economy provides more evidence on how its holding up in 2019,” CIBC adds.Here is their view, courtesy of eFXdata: “By the magic of seasonal adjustment and methodology revisions, US CPI managed to be both a bit hotter and a bit cooler than expectations…

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Fed may use rebound as motive to revive rate hikes, market researcher James Bianco warns

“His base case calls for no interest rate hikes this year, but market researcher James Bianco has his guard up” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. Regardless of whether the Fed hikes or not, Bianco suggests there may not be much market upside left.”The stock market is rallying basically for one reason: The Fed backed off,” Bianco said.”We need earnings to step up. Source: cnbc.com

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The shock surge in US car loan delinquencies gives a clue why the Fed is treading carefully — even in a booming economy

“It’s likely the Federal Reserve, which is pausing its plan to raise interest rates for now, is using other yard sticks to gauge US economic health” writes Trista Kelley for businessinsider.com. “American consumers [are] exposed to any unexpected loss of their job or increase in interest rates,” says Russ Mould, Investment Director at UK investment platform AJ Bell.Fed economists said the surge in delinquent borrowers, defined as being at least 90 days behind on payments, was “surprising” considering the strong labor market and economy.As a percentage of GDP, US debt…

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