Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Market update: Federal Reserve hikes short-term rates by 0.25% (15 March 2017)

  • The Federal Reserve followed through on its well-telegraphed intention to raise interest rates on Wednesday, hiking short-term rates by 0.25%, or 25 basis points. The new target for the fed funds rate is 0.75% to 1%.
  • The policy statement cited the strengthening labor market and improving economy as reasons for the hike. But it noted the pace of expansion is just “moderate.”

More notably, the Fed still believes that three rate hikes are appropriate for 2017, relieving investors' fears that the central bank could begin setting the groundwork for a fourth hike. The major averages started the day in the green thanks to a bullish sentiment in the crude oil market and climbed to new session highs in the afternoon following the FOMC decision.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Happy Birthday S&P 500!

The world's biggest stock index turned 60 on Saturday with almost $2.4T indexed to it. It's widely regarded as the most accurate gauge of large-cap American equities since it's weighted by market capitalization, as opposed to the Dow, which is weighted by price, or other indexes, which have an equal weighting.