Daily Market Color

Quiet Trading Ahead of Early Christmas Eve Close

Markets appear in full holiday mode ahead of this afternoon’s early close in honor of Christmas Eve.  Both stocks and Treasuries are little-changed, while oil is marginally higher, extending its largest weekly gain in over two months.  The dollar has had a rough week, declining in five straight days for the longest down streak since April.  The strength of the greenback was a major theme throughout the year, but recent weakness has trimmed its annual gain to below 9% against a basket of major currencies.

In a report to clients, economists at Goldman Sachs said the Fed doesn’t need to worry about the lack of foreign inflation in 2016.  The economists determined that the effect of a lack of inflation abroad doesn’t extend “beyond the impact of commodity-price declines and dollar appreciation”.  While those factors impact the US economy, they shouldn’t weigh on US core inflation, which is largely immune to global pricing pressures.  As such, Goldman expects the US economy to experience a moderate acceleration in inflation in 2016, which would warrant four interest rate hikes from the Fed.  The Goldman report contradicts recent views of HSBC chief global economist, Janet Henry.  Henry recently wrote that she expects just two rate increases in 2016 because the US economy will be constrained by a lack of international inflation.

The bond market closes at 2pm ET and will reopen on Monday.


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