After inflation statistics revealed that consumer price increases slowed in March and Fed minutes suggested that additional rate hikes were not ruled out, US markets declined on Wednesday, reversing gains from earlier in the day.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) declined 0.11% and the S&P 500 (GSPC) decreased by 0.41%. The heavily tech-focused Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) decreased by 0.85%.
After the Fed published the minutes of its most recent monetary policy meeting in March, bond yields decreased. On Wednesday, the yield on the 10-year note decreased to 3.40%, while the yield on the two-year note that is subject to interest rate changes decreased to 3.97%.
The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25% in March, and some of the important findings from that meeting’s minutes revealed that officials anticipated the economy would likely drop into.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy, rose as expected by 5.6%. Meanwhile, housing costs are still a key inflation driver, according to BLS data, even as the housing market stabilizes.
“Today’s CPI gives some relief to the Fed for now. Easing price pressures combined with signs of a slowdown in the labor market will provide markets with a temporary respite,” wrote Ronald Temple, chief markets strategist at Lazard, after the release.
“While that’s good news, it doesn’t mean the tightening is over. Core inflation remains well above the Fed’s target and the road to 2% will be bumpy. With core CPI expected to end the year above 3%, the Fed has more to do before it can declare victory over inflation,” Temple added.
The story goes on
Investors will continue to digest Wednesday’s CPI report as it could provide some clues as to whether the Fed will hike rates further at its next meeting. According to data from CME Group, markets have priced in a 69% chance that the US Federal Reserve will hike rates by another 0.25% in May. That’s down slightly from before the release of the CPI report.