What a difference a month makes. In May, stocks fell sharply, and interest rates declined each week. June has been a different story. The Fed has signaled rate cuts are likely coming. Stocks have been rallying higher, and the decline in interest rates has stalled.
The Fed can’t control home loan rates. Those move mainly on inflation and expectations of inflation in the future. Inflation has remained tame for the past decade and is the main reason why home loan rates have stayed low as well.
This past week, we received another reading on consumer inflation, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which confirmed there are no price pressures or inflation threat to the economy.
The result: the odds of a Fed rate cut have climbed to 85% for the July Fed Meeting on the idea that the Fed can comfortably cut rates and “allow” inflation to creep into the economy.
Also keeping home loan rates near two-year lows is the uncertainty and lack of resolution with the US/China trade turmoil. The next step is a potential meeting between US and China at the G20 Meeting June 28-29. Mark your calendar. This is an important event, because as this trade dispute goes so do the economies around the globe.
Bottom line — we are seeing a strong economy, rising stocks, and two-year lows for home loan rates.
The upcoming week will see data from the housing and manufacturing sectors, but those reports will take a backseat to the two-day Federal Open Market Committee (Fed) meeting.
The meeting kicks off on Tuesday and ends Wednesday with the release of the monetary policy statement which will also include a summary of economic projections. Fed Chair Powell will hold a press conference immediately following the release at 2:30 p.m. ET.
There is no rate cut expected at this meeting, but what comes of the Statement and press conference could move the markets — so stay tuned.
The markets will also have to contend with the continued saga surrounding the US/China trade issues.
Reports to watch:
- Manufacturing data comes from Monday’s Empire State Index followed by Thursday’s Philadelphia Fed Index.
- On Tuesday, Housing Starts and Building Permits will be released with Existing Home Sales being delivered on Friday.
- As usual, Weekly Initial Jobless Claims will be released on Thursday.