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Cooler October US CPI raises confidence that Fed hikes done

U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in October amid lower gasoline prices, and underlying inflation showed signs of slowing, supporting views that the Federal Reserve was probably done raising interest rates.

The unchanged reading in the consumer price index reported by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on Tuesday followed a 0.4% rise in September.

In the 12 months through October, the CPI climbed 3.2% after rising 3.7% in September. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI gaining 0.1% on the month and increasing 3.3% on a year-on-year basis.

MARKET REACTION:

STOCKS: U.S. stock index futures extend gains and were last up 1.24%, pointing to a strong open on Wall Street BONDS: U.S. Treasury yields fell, with 2-year note last at 4.872%, and the 10-year note at 4.488%FOREX: The dollar index extended a loss and was off 0.748%

COMMENTS:

PETER ANDERSEN, FOUNDER, ANDERSEN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, BOSTON

“This is a slight change in the right direction, so certainly that will not harm the current narrative that the Fed has stopped raising rates, so it’s probably a good thing.”

“I’m not at all surprised that he (Powell) was very cautious (last week) and I would think that he would continue to be in a cautious tone simply because this is the early part of showing that the tightening campaign is actually taking effect.”

THOMAS HAYES, CHAIRMAN AT HEDGE FUND GREAT HILL CAPITAL, NEW YORK

“We’re happy to see both headline and core CPI come in lower than expected. It’s telling us that the Fed is done, there’s nothing left for it to do here.”

“But you have to keep an eye on the potential for deflation, but right now this is Goldilocks. This is what the Fed was looking for- slowing inflation, slowing labor market and the economy’s holding up at the same time.”

OLIVER PURSCHE, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT, WEALTHSPIRE ADVISORS, NEW YORK

“It’s still early days, what the Fed said last week is that things are moving in the right direction so it’s too early to call a victory on inflation. So the wait-and-see on future (Fed) action remain in place.”

“Any data point that reinforces the belief that the Fed is done hiking is going to be met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction.”

“The caution in all of it is inflation data that is inconsistent. We have reports like (today’s CPI) and others that suggest that inflation remains elevated and problematic. It has not proven to be consistent yet and ultimately what investors need to be focused on is earnings.”
Source: Reuters

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