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Fed Chair Powell, a Prince to the Markets

Fed Chair Powell, a Prince to the Markets

November 30th, 2018 | Mortgage News


"This is what it sounds like when doves cry"... Prince

We heard "doves cry" this week when Fed Chairman Jerome Powell spoke in NYC on Wednesday. Doves are people who offer peaceful polices, so upon Mr. Powell's soothing speech both Stocks and Bonds moved nicely higher, with home loan rates hitting their best levels in nearly two months.

Some of Mr. Powell's market-comforting words included:

  • We know that moving too fast (hiking rates) will risk expansion
  • It may take a year or more to fully realize the effects of hikes
  • The Fed doesn't see "dangerous excesses" in the stock market
  • The policy rate (Fed Funds Rate) is "just below" neutral

The Fed is still very likely to raise the Fed Funds Rate in December, but the markets took the speech as signs the Fed will not hike rates three times in 2019, which was the Fed's own forecast.

Fed Fund Futures, which represents a market opinion on the future of the Fed Funds Rate now suggest there will be only one rate hike in 2019.

The incoming data and more specifically, inflation, will determine whether we see more hikes in 2019.

Bottom line - the present low inflationary environment and slower global growth are helping keep home loan rates historically low.

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