As expected, the Federal Reserve announced the commencement of its balance sheet runoff at last week’s meeting. The meeting did, however, contain a few surprises. First, the Fed maintained its expectation of another rate hike in December. Prior to the meeting, the odds of a rate hike in December were 53 percent, according to Bloomberg’s world interest rate probability, as investors weighed the Fed’s previously stated intention of a hike in December against persistently low inflation readings. Following the meeting, however, those odds spiked to 64 percent.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – September 22, 2017 – For the sixth year in a row, Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is matching donations to Feeding America® now through Thanksgiving. Every dollar (up to $250,000) given to Feeding America as part of the campaign will help provide 22 meals to families and individuals who face hunger – which amounts to twice the impact of a standard dollar donation. These contributions will support Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization with a network of 200 member food banks across the country, including areas recovering from the destruction caused by recent hurricanes. Members of the public are invited to contribute by visiting: www.supportfeedingamerica.org/Ameriprise.
The S&P 500 enjoyed its best week since the first week in January, adding 1.6 percent to close at 2500 for the first time. Most of the gains came early in the week after a weekend in which North Korea refrained from another missile launch, and the destruction from Hurricane Irma, as bad as it was, was not as devastating as feared. As it turned out, North Korea was simply waiting for a different launch date, this time on Friday. But stocks held onto their gains anyway, rising fractionally on Friday to close at a new record high. Although markets took this latest provocation in stride, the North Korean threat has certainly not gone away, and will be the topic of discussion this week at the UN.
Stocks slumped during a shortened holiday week that brought its share of surprises. First President Trump unexpectedly agreed to a three-month extension of the debt ceiling and the federal budget, sending analysts scrambling to handicap what it might mean for policy going forward, tax reform in particular. While the impact remains to be seen, one thing we know is that for now it sets up another round of market anxiety in December when this deal expires. There is certainly a chance that the deal buys some time for Congress to get something positive accomplished in the meantime, but until now that has obviously proven difficult.