Every Friday I recap “news you can use” from the week: a handful of quotes from major (and often expensive) news sources, so you can stay up to date on the news that affects your money without spending a dime and in less than a minute.
Here’s an overview of what happened this week.
The Rise in Oil Prices Is a Problem for Fed’s Soft Landing (Sept. 18, Bloomberg) Driven by cutbacks in supply by Saudi Arabia and Russia, oil prices have surged by almost 30% since June, with benchmark US crude topping $91 a barrel. Though prices are still well below their 2022 highs, the latest rise poses risks as the Fed seeks to return inflation to its 2% target without triggering an economic downturn.
Oil at fresh highs as Chevron CEO predicts crude will return to $100 a barrel (Sept. 19, MarketWatch) “Supply is tightening, inventories are drawing. These things happen gradually and you can see it building, and so I think…the trends would suggest that we’re certainly on our way,” he said.
Wirth acknowledged that oil at $100 could cause a “drag” on the U.S. and global economies, as some market observers are fearing.
Dow ends down 100 points with Fed decision on future interest rates due (Sept. 19, MarketWatch) The central bank is fully expected by the market to leave its policy interest rates at a range of 5.25% to 5.50% after its meeting on Wednesday, but traders are wary about accompanying guidance on any future rate rises amid stubborn inflationary pressures, a concern that sees 10-year benchmark Treasury yields holding near their highest level since 2007.
Kevin McCarthy’s near-impossible task: to get Republicans on the same page and fund the government for another month (Sept. 20, MarketWatch) With time dwindling, Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to pass the broader government funding legislation and get a bill to President Joe Biden’s desk to become law. Otherwise, the U.S. faces massive federal government closures and disruptions. Plans for another vote Tuesday to advance the overall spending bill were shelved.
Fed declines to hike, but points to rates staying higher for longer (Sept. 20, CNBC) The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady in a decision released Wednesday, while also indicating it still expects one more hike before the end of the year and fewer cuts than previously indicated next year.
That final increase, if realized, would do it for this cycle, according to projections the central bank released at the end of its two-day meeting. If the Fed goes ahead with the move, it would make a full dozen hikes since the policy tightening began in March 2022.
Cash investors may be at ‘the top of the mountain’ with Fed pause. Here’s when 5% CDs and money market funds could finally end. (Sept. 20, MarketWatch) The Fed’s upward march has pulled up interest rates and yields, and that’s pulled cash investments such as bank certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market mutual funds into the spotlight.
“As of right now, we might be reaching the peak of rates,” said Ken Tumin, editor of DepositAccounts.com…
2-year Treasury yield carves out another 17-year high after hawkish Fed meeting (Sept. 21, MarketWatch) Treasury yields continued to climb on Thursday as investors continued to absorb the Federal Reserve’s projections, delivered Wednesday, that suggested another interest-rate increase this year and that borrowing costs were likely to be cut in 2024 by less than previously thought.
Home sales stick near recent lows in August, but prices continue to climb (Sept. 21, CNBC) There were just 1.1 million units for sale at the end of August, down 0.9% for the month and down just more than 14% year over year. Inventory is now at a 3.3-month supply. A six-month supply is considered balanced between buyer and seller.
Tight supply has turned prices decidedly higher again. The median price of a home sold in August was $407,100, up 3.9% from a year ago and the highest reported price for the month of August.
UAW to Expand Strike Against GM and Stellantis While Sparing Ford (Sept. 22, Bloomberg) General Motors Co. and Stellantis NV face walkouts at 38 more facilities as talks with their workers’ union failed to make headway, while Ford Motor Co. was spared the escalation after making progress in the negotiations.
Crude oil prices climb after Russia bans gas and diesel exports (Sept. 22, MarketWatch) Global energy prices have been rising since Russia announced on Thursday a temporary ban on exports of gasoline and diesel outside a small circle of closely allied states in order to keep supplies available for processing the annual wheat harvest in particular.
Many analysts expect crude prices traded in the U.S. and in international markets to move up to, or past, $100 a barrel, a level oil hasn’t seen since last year.
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