Daily Market Color December 16, 2015All Eyes on the Fed Ahead of Today’s Rate Decision Fed day has finally arrived and markets appear on edge leading up to the announcement. Equities opened higher before trimming most gains off the back of renewed pressure on oil, while Treasuries are selling off marginally across the curve. Today’s widely expected rate hike would be the first since June 29, 2006, and comes exactly seven years since the Fed cut rates to zero in the depths of the financial crisis. The Fed statement, dot plot, Summary of Economic Projections, and Yellen news conference will all be closely scrutinized as market-participants look for clues into the velocity of subsequent hikes. Today’s economic data released included an indication of the US housing sector recovering in November, while manufacturing continued to lag. Housing starts rebounded from a seven-month low while permits rose to a five-month high, indicating the housing market may be firming as the Fed prepares to hike rates. Home building is likely to remain strong in the months ahead, since building permits are running at a faster clip than housing starts. Other data showed industrial production fell 0.6% in November, the third consecutive monthly decline. Lower energy prices and weak foreign demand is likely to weigh on the manufacturing sector heading into 2016.