June rate cut seems less likely after hot CPI print, says Goldman's Hatzius

Stock futures dipped as Wall Street looked ahead to a second key inflation report.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 90 points, or about 0.2%, while S&P 500 futures also lost 0.2%. Nasdaq-100 futures fell 0.2%.

Stocks hit selloff mode Wednesday as investors assessed a hot March inflation reading that fueled worries the Federal Reserve may implement fewer rate cuts than expected. Minutes from the Fed’s meeting last month also showed that some officials remain concerned about inflation’s path toward the central bank’s 2% goal.

The surprising print — in which consumer prices grew 0.4% in March and 3.5% from a year earlier — prompted Goldman Sachs chief economist Jan Hatzius to adjust the firm’s call to two rate cuts from three in 2024. He now sees the first rate reduction happening in July.

“I am optimistic that we are rebalancing the labor market, and we will bring down inflation over time – for me none of those things have changed,” he told CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Wednesday. “However, what has changed is the timing of the Fed adjusting because that’s going to depend a lot more on the month-on-month inflation news, which has clearly been disappointing.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average led Wednesday’s losses, tumbling 1.09%, while the S&P 500 dropped 0.95%. The Nasdaq Composite sank 0.84%. Ten of the 11 S&P 500 sectors finished the session in negative territory, with real estate bearing the brunt of the selling pressure and posting decline of more than 4%. The rate on the 10-year Treasury note topped 4.5%, while the yield on the 2-year Treasury surged close to 5%.

The market’s next key inflation tests come Thursday with March’s producer price index. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect wholesale prices to have grown by 0.3% in March, and 0.2% when excluding food and energy. Separately, weekly jobless claims are also due before the bell.

The early stages of earnings season continue Thursday, with results from CarMax, Fastenal and Constellation Brands before the bell. The unofficial start to the period commences with big bank earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup on Friday.


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