Countdown to FOMC Interest Rate Decision
At 8:30 today the consumer price index (CPI) was released. The CPI month over month was reported as expected at 0%. The CPI year over year was reported at 0.5%. The consumer price index (CPI) and the producer price indexes (PPI) are the main price indexes that measure inflation. The CPI is a measure of price changes in consumer goods and services while the PPI measures price change in selling by domestic producers of goods and services. The Federal Reserve has maintained that they are looking for a 2% inflation target to raise interest rates. The 0.5% CPI year over year is nowhere near the 2% inflation target that the Federal Reserve continues to speak of. Tomorrow is a critical day. Since January of this year I have been stating that I do not believe the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in 2015. My predictions have been correct for the 11 months and 7 FOMC meeting so far this year. Everyone is talking about a 0.25% interest rate hike tomorrow. I am in the minority that does not see it. I do not understand what the Federal Reserve is seeing. There is no wage inflation, there is deflation in commodity prices, and we are nowhere near the 2% inflation target which the Federal Reserve keeps mentioning. Crude oil is down almost 40% and Copper is down about 27-28% year to date. Gasoline and heating oil prices are decreasing. The overall tone for commodity prices is down. I do not understand the Federal Reserve’s mindset considering raising interest rates. If the Federal Reserve does raise interest rates by a 0.25% tomorrow I believe the language thereafter will be so dovish that the market will rise. No matter the outcome of tomorrow’s decision I expect the market to rise.
Prior to the CPI number being released today the Dow Jones Industrial Average had a significant bid. Once the number was released the Dow Jones Industrial Average exploded to the upside, up over 230 points at one point before closing up 156. I am in the minority that does not believe the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates tomorrow. If I was a Federal Reserve board member I would be voting not to raise interest rates tomorrow. I expect the overall market to be very quiet tomorrow leading up to the 2:00 FOMC meeting announcement.
Crude oil was trading above 37 dollars a barrel at one point today, trading up to the 37.88 level. I am looking to see if crude oil can get up into the 39.50-41.50 range where I think it would be a great opportunity to get short. If they raise interest rates tomorrow it will not be great for commodity prices. At the end of the day crude oil sold off about a dollar from the highs. I believe people are worried that if the Federal Reserve does raise interest rates tomorrow that commodity prices will get hit.
Gold was down about 3 dollars today, trading below the 1060 level. Gold did not get up into the 1090-1100 range where I stated I would look to get short, trading up to the 1088 level. Gold is in a range between 1040 and 1090. If they do raise interest rates tomorrow there is a good chance that gold will make new lows for the year. If they leave rates unchanged and talk even more dovish gold should explode to the upside.
I am currently on the sidelines in both crude oil and gold and I am waiting to see what happens in the equity markets.