We could have a rocky end of the year, be cautious!
Ben Bernanke’s final Fed Meeting and the last meeting of 2013 ends this afternoon with the monetary policy statement being released at 2:00pm ET. There is zero possibility of a hike in the short term Fed Funds Rate, but the big question is whether or not the members will vote on to taper or not to taper this month.
We still feel that tapering will begin sometime in the first quarter of 2014, but there is always a possibility that it could take place sooner rather than later. One wild card – there is now chatter that rather than taper, the Fed may impose a limit to the overall purchase program of QE3 going forward – this means that QE3Unlimited would no longer be unlimited.
At the end of the day, no one knows what will be said and the markets will try to extrapolate the interpretation and meaning when the news hits the wires. Get ready for some potential volatility when the release hits.
Prior to the 2pm Fed showdown the Treasury will be selling $35B 5-Year Notes with the results being released at 11:30am ET – this after yesterday’s stellar 2-Year Note results.
The government reported today that Housing Starts for November soared by 22.7% from October to 1.09M units annually versus the 950K expected, which was the largest percentage increase since January 1990 and the biggest rate in five years. Building Permits declined by 3.1% to 1.007M units and above the 950K estimated. The data will be discussed at today's FOMC meeting.
The Bond Market looks fragile and you should have your clients ready to lock as the Fed Meeting and announcement approaches.