FOMC Delivers 'Not Dovish Enough' Rate-Hike: Cuts Outlook And Future Hikes By One

The Dow is down over 10% since The Fed last hiked rates in September, with the dollar, gold, and the long-bond up around 4%...

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And as stock prices have plummeted, so has the market's expectations for how hawkish The Fed will be...

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And even the odds of a hike today had tumbled (in an almost unprecedented manner)...

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As financial conditions have tightened dramatically since The Fed hiked in September...

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And The Fed is entirely decoupled from the market's view of the rate trajectory...

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The economic data have been pretty strong, with the unemployment rate at a 48-year low and GDP this quarter tracking about 3%, according to the Atlanta Fed. On the other hand, stocks this week slumped to a 14-month low - not that's not in The Fed's mandate, right?

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So with that background, and expectations of a dovish hike established, here is the decision:

  • *FED RAISES RATES, SIGNALS TWO 2019 HIKES VS THREE IN SEPT. EST.
  • *FED 'JUDGES THAT SOME FURTHER GRADUAL INCREASES' WARRANTED
  • *FED: RISKS 'ARE ROUGHLY BALANCED,' MONITORING GLOBAL EVENTS

So a dovish hike - but not as dovish as expected...

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The Fed was very non-committal to the "data-dependence" language relative to what was hoped for:

"[Fed] will continue to monitor global economic and financial developments and assess their implications for the economic outlook."

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Bespoke Investment Group notes that Fed hikes have often been a "sell the news'' event during this tightening cycle.

The S&P 500 Index "has typically rallied throughout the trading day leading up to the 2 p.m. hike, and then we see an initial spike just after the news is announced,'' analysts write.

"We then have seen sellers come in to take the index back down to pre-2 p.m. levels, another round of buying, and then a final round of big selling into the close."

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