Monthly Archives: February 2015

Federal Reserve In No Hurry to Raise Rates

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) released its Meeting Minutes on Wednesday, in which it was made abundantly clear that the Fed is in no hurry to raise rates. Federal Reserve officials signaled their willingness to keep interest rates near zero for longer than previously indicated, meaning the first rate hike will likely not be before June. The minutes also hinted at a very gradual increase, once the rate hikes begin. Fed officials cited a stronger dollar and the crisis in Greece as a few contributing factors behind their “dovish” language. Continue reading

Ukraine Ceasefire Deal Reached

The ongoing peace talks between Russian-backed separatists and Ukraine finally yielded a result yesterday when it was announced that a ceasefire will begin this Sunday. Fighting will continue up to that day, when each side has said they will pull back heavy weapons and commit to greater autonomy for the separatist regions in eastern Ukraine. Both sides must ensure the release and exchange of all hostages and illegally held prisoners. The agreement also allows Ukrainian officials to regain full control of their banking system. Should this ceasefire hold (far from a guarantee), it will end a 10 month conflict that has claimed more than 5,000 lives. The European markets welcomed this agreement, sending shares higher. Continue reading

The U.S. Economy added 257,000 Jobs in January

The January jobs report came out today and was much stronger than many economists anticipated. Overall, non-farm payrolls increased 257,000 in January as U.S. employers added more jobs than expected last month capping the biggest three-month gain in 17 years . While the headline number exceeded the 228,000 consensus, the big story in today’s report was the revisions. December’s job growth was revised up to 329,000 (from 252,000), and November’s was revised up to 423,000 (from 353,000). Continue reading

Greece Syriza Party Wins Election

On Sunday, 36% of Greece voted for the Syriza party, enough to declare the far-left party as the “winner” of the election.  Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the party, became the Prime Minister of Greece.  While the election results were not surprising, Greek stocks tumbled as Tsipras halted privatization plans agreed under the country’s bailout deal with its European Union creditors.   Standard & Poor’s cut its outlook on Greek sovereign debt to negative (from stable).  While the European Central Bank (ECB) has stated it will do whatever it takes to preserve the Eurozone, Greece’s future as a member of the EU is still uncertain. Continue reading