All eyes are focused on the FOMC decision this afternoon as US Treasury yields are trading slightly lower this morning and equities unchanged on low volumes. Currently, the decision is not in doubt as market participants expect the rate will be unaltered. After the reversal in January to a more “patient” approach, many participants will be paying close attention any changes in the FOMC forecast. Last December, the Summary of Economic Projections showed two rate hikes in 2019. In addition, it is not certain that the Committee will provide further details regarding balance sheet reduction in either the official releases or the press conference.

In other news, it is being reported that China is pushing back against US demands on intellectual property policies until they receive assurances that tariffs on their exports will be lifted. Negotiators have scheduled additional meetings in both Beijing and Washington in hopes to close a deal by late April.

Chris Eckhoff
Associate, Investment Management Group
03/18/19NAHB Housing Market Index636262
03/19/19Factory Orders0.30%0.10%0.10%
03/19/19Factory Orders Ex Trans-0.20%-0.60%-0.50%
03/19/19Durable Goods Orders0.40%0.30%0.40%
03/19/19Durables Ex Transportation-0.10%-0.20%-0.10%
03/19/19Cap Goods Orders Nondef Ex Air0.80%0.80%0.80%
03/19/19Cap Goods Ship Nondef Ex Air0.80%0.80%
03/20/19MBA Mortgage Applications1.60%2.30%
03/20/19FOMC Rate Decision (Upper Bound)2.50%2.50%
03/20/19FOMC Rate Decision (Lower Bound)2.25%2.25%
03/20/19Interest Rate on Excess Reserves2.40%2.40%
03/21/19Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook4.8-4.1
03/21/19Initial Jobless Claims225k229k
03/21/19Continuing Claims1770k1776k
03/21/19Bloomberg Consumer Comfort60.8
03/21/19Bloomberg Economic Expectations54.5
03/21/19Leading Index0.10%-0.10%0.00%
03/22/19Markit US Manufacturing PMI53.453
03/22/19Markit US Services PMI55.556
03/22/19Markit US Composite PMI55.5
03/22/19Wholesale Inventories MoM0.10%1.10%
03/22/19Wholesale Trade Sales MoM-1.00%
03/22/19Existing Home Sales5.10m4.94m
03/22/19Existing Home Sales MoM3.20%-1.20%
03/22/19Monthly Budget Statement-$227.0b-$215.2b