United States

Is a rate hike inevitable?


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Following the less than encouraging action out of the European Central Bank, another contentious Organization of the Petroleum Export Countries meeting and a solid gain in U.S. employment, investors are likely to begin positioning portfolios ahead of the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting in less than 10 days where the central bank is expected to increase the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. The federal funds market currently implies a 70 percent probability of a rate hike at the meeting.

This week the only Federal Reserve speaker on the schedule is St. Louis Fed President James Bullard who will speak on monetary policy on Monday. This week the U.S. Treasury will issue $24 billion in three-year notes, $21 billion in 10-year notes and $13 billion in 30-year bonds. The data calendar will be relatively light with fresh data published looking at the labor market, consumer confidence, wholesale inventories and inflation.

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