Daily Market Color

Equities Rebound, Treasuries Sell Off As Markets Digest Hawkish Comments from Fed Officials

Equities opened the week higher while Treasuries sold off across the curve as investors refocused on the US domestic growth outlook following hawkish comments from Fed policymakers.  Over the weekend, three Fed officials argued that raising rates this year is very much still on the table, contradicting bets by many traders after last week’s FOMC announcement and press conference.  San Francisco Fed President Williams described the Fed’s decision as a “close call”.  He reiterated that increased concern over the global economy and financial system is what caused policymakers to err on the side of caution, despite a job market nearly at full strength.  He said he believes gradually raising rates is the next appropriate step, “most likely starting sometime later this year”.  St. Louis Fed President Bullard and Richmond Fed President Lacker also justified their cases for raising rates at one of the remaining two FOMC meetings this year.  Bullard isn’t a voting member, but said he would have joined Lacker in dissenting, “since the committee’s objectives have essentially been met”.  Atlanta Fed President Lockhart (neutral, voter ’15) speaks this afternoon.

Aside from commentary from Fed officials, weekend headlines were fairly light.  Greece’s left-wing Syriza party won the parliamentary election, placing Alexis Tsipras back in charge as prime minister.  Tsipras will have his work cut out for him; he needs to stabilize the economy and Greek banks, while implementing austerity measures and dealing with the refugee crisis.

Data in the US is limited to today’s disappointing existing home sales report, but it picks up later this week, headlined by durable goods orders and GDP.  There is also an active corporate issuance calendar, featuring UBS and Dominion Resources among others.

 

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