Markets are mostly quiet as traders await today’s Fed news. Equities are flat, while gold, silver, and oil are up slightly. Treasuries and the dollar are down a bit.
On the news front...
It’s “Fed Day”...which pretty much means anything that happens this morning in the markets doesn’t matter. It can all change once the Federal Reserve announces the results of today’s policy meeting.
Market participants are largely expecting a 25-basis point hike, which would push the federal funds rate up to a range of 4.75%-5%. There’s an outside chance of no move as well. If we got a 50-bp hike, it would be a shock to the system.
First Republic Bank (FRC) is one of the banks under fire due to depositor flight. It has reportedly hired the investment bank Lazard Ltd. (LAZ) and the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. to help it raise capital and/or figure out a more solid business strategy.
Meanwhile, the recent market turmoil has sent investors flocking into bonds. That, in turn, has pushed 30-year mortgage rates to a five-week low. We learned yesterday that existing home sales jumped 14.5% between January and February. One thing that helped: Lower home PRICES. They fell 0.2% from a year ago, the first such decline in 11 years.