So much for "One and Done."
In raising rates the expected 1/4 point, the Fed announced that they are likely to keep increasing short term rates for the next few meetings.
They threw a little bit of a head fake in there, noting "Economic growth has rebounded strongly in the current quarter
but appears likely to moderate to a more sustainable pace."
Trader’s who left their feet on that were disappointed.
By itself, that statement might have been a sign that the Fed was all but finished — which would have been the fuel sending the Bulls racing to new heights. A moderating economy on a glide path to a soft landing would not require additional monetary tightening.
But as George Mason taught UConn, you have to play to the end of the game. In FOMC terms, that means reading to the end of the statement, where they shifted their focus to energy prices, noting the "potential to add to inflation pressures:"
"As yet, the run-up in the prices of energy and other commodities appears to have
had only a modest effect on core inflation, ongoing productivity gains have
helped to hold the growth of unit labor costs in check, and inflation
expectations remain contained. Still, possible increases in resource
utilization, in combination with the elevated prices of energy and other
commodities, have the potential to add to inflation pressures."
Like the Huskies, the "One and Done" squad is now firmly eliminated from contention. Better luck next year.
March 28, 2006