The Dow managed its 10th straight gain on Friday, even if it was just a couple of points. Now, stock futures are hovering around the flatline in the early going. The same goes for gold, silver, Treasuries, and the dollar. Crude oil is up a bit.
On the news front…
Well, that settles it. The Wall Street Journal’s “Fed Whisperer”/Fed reporter Nick Timiraos has a story today saying the Federal Reserve will “likely” hike rates by a quarter-point at the meeting that concludes Wednesday.
Markets were expecting another hike to a range of 5.25%-5.5%, to be sure. But this essentially seals the deal. The piece goes on to say the outlook for policy later in the year is cloudier. Some experts believe inflation pressures are abating and the labor market is loosening enough for the Fed to go on an extended sabbatical. Others worry that underlying inflation pressures remain, necessitating more hikes later in 2023 or 2024.
If you logged onto Twitter today you saw that the “blue bird” logo has been replaced with a stylized “X”. Elon Musk has long had a vision to make Twitter an “everything app” like WeChat in China, and rebranding the service as X is part of that strategy. Only time will tell if Musk’s moves can bring back more advertisers and get X back on the right track.
Finally, the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon resulted in extraordinary box office numbers over the weekend. The movie “Barbie” pulled in roughly $155 million worth of ticket sales during its first three days in theatres, while “Oppenheimer” racked up $80.5 million. Moviegoers flocked to theatres to watch both films back-to-back, often dressing up in pink and black outfits and sharing pictures and videos about the experience on social media.