It’s not like we don’t know that these two Federal Reserve presidents favor higher interest rates for longer. But still hearing them say it did put a crinkle in stock prices today.
Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic called for continued interest-rate hikes to above 5% to ensure that inflation returns to the central bank’s target. “I think we will need to raise the federal funds rate to between 5% and 5.25% and leave it there until well into 2024,” Bostic said in an online essay. “This will allow tighter policy to filter through the economy and ultimately bring aggregate supply and aggregate demand into better balance and thus lower inflation.”
Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari said he has yet to decide if he will back accelerating the central bank’s interest-rate increases when officials meet on March 22. But he certainly hasn’t ruled out a higher-than-expected 50 basis point rate increase. “I’m open-minded, at this point, about whether it’s 25 or 50 basis points,” Kashkari said Wednesday in a question-and-answer session in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “To me, much more important than whether it’s 25 or 50 is what we signal in what’s called the Dot Plot,” he added. The Dot Plotis the Fed’s p[projections for the future path of interest rates, inflation, unemployment, and GPD growth. The Fed last updated its Dot Plot at the December 14 meeting and is scheduled to update its forecasts at the March 22 meeting.
Today, March 1, the Standard & Poor’s 500 closed off 0.47% to 3951. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added a scant 0.02%. The NASDAQ Composite fell 0.66% and the NASDAQ 100 was lower at the close by 0.86%. The small-cap Russell 2000 inched ahead by 0.08%.