‘Higher for longer’ is the main takeaway from the FOMC meeting after the committee decided to hold rates. Members also signaled that another rate hike is likely before year end. Overall, there was a hawkish tilt to Chair Powell’s press conference as 2024 odds saw consensus expectations decline from 3 to 4 rate cuts to 2 to 3 cuts.
FOMC members’ dot plots also show expectations of less easing in 2024. In June, it saw 2024 ending with rates at 4.6%. This was upped to 5.1%. The Fed did acknowledge progress in terms of inflation’s trajectory. Powell remarked that “We’re fairly close, we think, to where we need to get.”
Fixed income weakened after the FOMC with yields on longer-term Treasuries jumping to new highs. Yields on the 10-year reached 4.48% and have broken out above the spring highs. The increase in yields has had negative effects on equities, specifically the financial sector and small caps. However, yields on shorter-term Treasuries haven’t risen above spring highs.
It’s an indication that markets are not expecting terminal rates to move materially higher but it’s adjusting to a longer duration of high rates. For fixed income investors, it likely means that volatility will persist in the short-term.
Finsum: Longer-term Treasury yields are breaking out to new highs following the FOMC meeting. Expectations of meaningful Fed rate cuts in 2024 are being tempered.