The Fed will release the minutes of its October Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET.
At that meeting, the Fed made it clear that it would strongly consider raising its benchmark rate when it meets again next month.
But since then, we’ve heard from several FOMC members, including chair Janet Yellen. And they have given markets more insight into what the Fed is thinking, and its assessment of the economy, going into next month’s meeting.
And so, according to UBS’ Art Cashin, there’s really only one thing left that markets could be waiting to read on Wednesday.
He wrote in a morning note to clients that the minutes “are a bit “over-laundered” with virtually all the meaningful nuggets erased. Traders hope, however, that there is enough “meat” left to give them a clue as to what the Fed was worried about.”
“A key could be discussions of the dollar. Are they worried about the impact of a stronger dollar? If so, how concerned are they? What other “concerns” do they discuss? If we can develop a list of concerns, we can monitor them and better gauge what might stay the hand of the Fed or let it go.”
The pace of the dollar’s rise over the past year and a half has concerned the Fed. And it has been blamed for many of the economy’s weak areas this year, from a slowdown in exports to the manufacturing recession.
And as Morgan Stanley noted in August, a strengthening dollar effectively tightens financial conditions. Their research found that a one-month 1% increase in the nominal trade-weighted exchange value of the dollar versus other currencies added about 0.14 points to the Chicago Fed’s adjusted financial conditions index.
On Wednesday morning, the US dollar index, which tracks it against a smaller basket of other major currencies, was slightly lower at 99.53, but near the highest level in a decade.
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