The Fed, Markets, Social Security & Medicare

The final Federal Reserve meeting for the year will conclude this Wednesday, with expectations that the Fed will leave rates steady.

The Fed has raised rates 11 times since March 2022 to July 2023.

The most important element of the Fed’s announcement will be the “dot plot”. How many rate “cuts” will the Fed forecast for 2024?  The market believes 4 rate cuts in 2024. 

The Fed has continually suggested they intend to keep rates higher for longer.  Unless the economy hits a wall, I believe the Fed will keep their word.

Inflation becomes even more complicated when considering the US Debt total and continued annual deficit spending.  I read this weekend; we’ll be spending a tidy sum of approximately $13 trillion over the next 10 years in interest alone. 

In addition, to the Fed, this week we’ll hear important reports including the Consumer Price Index (CPI) on Tuesday, followed by the Producer Price Index (PPI) on Wednesday.  On Thursday will hear about the strength of the consumer as November Retail Sales are announced.

Markets Grind Higher

The US major stock indexes moved higher last week with the Small Cap Russell 2000 leading the way, rising .98%, followed by the Nasdaq up .69%, the S&P 500 .21% and the Dow .01%.

Over the pond, foreign stocks were flattish, dropping (.05%) and emerging markets down (1.81%).

Bonds continued to firm in price as the 10-year US Treasury yield ended the week @ 4.229%. 

Oil continued downward for now, falling (3.8%) finishing the week @ 71.26/barrel.

Social Security/Medicare

We have posted on our website, the new 2024 Medicare Quick Reference Guide and the 2024 Social Security Reference Guide.

Please feel free to share these Reference Guides with friends and colleagues as many people have questions on these topics.

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