December 20, 2018 – The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) hiked the target Fed Funds rate as expected yesterday by 25 basis points from 2.25% to 2.50%. The statement and press conference suggested that the outlook for the U.S. economy was one of decelerating but still solid growth, underscored by labor market tightness. However, it also highlighted, as we expected, that the Fed will likely have to slow its pace of hikes in 2019 and is more uncertain about the path of hikes going forward.
In the December issue of our monthly flagship publication, we feature:On the Record by Chief Investment Officer Tony Roth, where he separates the signal from the noise—the useful from the irrelevant—in assessing the significance of the market’s whipsaw volatility of the last two months, and provides our outlook.
December 7, 2018 – The continued volatility in equity markets along with several other market signals have whipsawed the expectations for another Fed rate hike at their final meeting of the year on December 19. The probability of that hike as measured by fixed income traders in the Fed Funds Futures market has in recent weeks been as high as 80%, but as recently as this past Tuesday, December 4, when the S&P 500 fell 3.