US Stocks Hit a Intraday High after Fed’s Decision to Keep Rates on Hold

The Nasdaq hit a record intraday high on Thursday amid broad gains in U.S. stocks, a day after the Federal Reserve stood pat on interest rates.

While the risks to economic outlook were roughly “balanced”, the Fed maintained rates as inflation continued to run below its 2 percent target and members saw room for improvement in the labor market.

The central bank slowed the pace of future hikes and cut its longer run interest rate forecast to 2.9 percent from 3 percent, but sent a strong signal for a move by the end of this year.

“The Fed probably appeared less hawkish than what the markets had expected,” said Ryan Larson, head of equity trading at RBC Global Asset Management in Chicago. “I think the market continues to be focused on the Fed pushing a hike for later as a good thing rather than bad.”

The consensus among economists is for a hike in December as the Fed’s November meeting comes right around the U.S. Presidential elections.

The probability of a November hike stands at a modest 12.4 percent, and rises to 58.4 percent for December, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The dollar index .DXY dropped 0.6 percent on Thursday, and was on track to mark the second straight day of losses after the central bank’s decision.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza