Stocks Pull Ahead as Fed Signals for Liftoff in December

Here to stay

The Fed has signaled it will begin to reduce the size of its bond holdings, which grew to $4.5 trillion as part of the "quantitative easing" program launched in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis after interest rates were cut to zero. They have been pulled back from their all-time highs as investors assessed the Federal Reserve's policy statement, which indicated at increasing interest rates for the third time this year.

Still, a majority of Fed policy makers projected that they see the US central bank's benchmark rate rising by a quarter percentage point by year end from its current range of 1 percent to 1.25 percent. While it is still forecasting rates will rise to 2.1% next year, it lowered its 2019 target to 2.7%, down from its 2.9% projection in June. The Fed's announcement of a balance sheet reduction on Wednesday boosted Treasury yields.

"Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria have devastated many communities, inflicting severe hardship", Fed officials said after their two-day meeting.

The U.S. 2-year Treasury yield hit a high of 1.430 percent, its highest level since July 6. Ten-year bond rates are essentially the same as they were two years ago, despite the progress in economic measures over the past 24 months.

However, inflation continues to remain below 2 percent, despite increases in food and energy prices, which the Fed excludes from its calculations. This means that the borrowing cost and required rate of return has started to respond to monetary policy shifts, and the impact to the real economy will gradually play out in future.

Western Digital Corporation (NASDAQ:WDC) Trading Down - Insiders Selling, Short Interest Growing
Point View Wealth Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Western Digital Corporation by 4.7% during the 1st quarter. Ray Gerald L & Associates Ltd. lifted its position in shares of Western Digital Corporation by 107.0% during the 1st quarter.

Analysts Weigh in on Nabors Industries (NBR)
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Analyst's Rankings to Lookout: AT&T Inc. (T), Ford Motor Company (F)
The Firm operates in four divisions: Automotive, Financial Services, Ford Smart Mobility LLC, and Central Treasury Operations. The fund owned 51,101 shares of the auto manufacturer's stock after purchasing an additional 15,776 shares during the period.

About 5.8 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges. If the greenback rises further, 0.77 and 0.71 are likely seen as its next resistance levels against the aussie and the kiwi, respectively.

While the central bank left rates unchanged, it cited low unemployment, growth in business investment and an economic expansion that has been moderate but durable this year to build its case for another rate hike in 2017.

In trimming some of its $1.8 trillion in mortgage-backed securities (MBS), the New York Fed said it would stick with its current practice and focus reinvestments on fixed-rate 30-year and 15-year agency securities in the so-called To-Be-Announced market. Finally, we believe bank stock prices have fully incorporated the benefits of higher interest rates, leaving little upside even if the normalization process happens much faster than we expect. "It could hurt financials and the overall market might not like the uncertainty", he added.

"In view of realised and expected labor market conditions and inflation, the committee chose to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 1 to 1-1/4 per cent, " the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in a release.


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