H&W in the Media

Stocks close off session highs in extended post-Yellen rally


Early Wednesday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” “the threshold for having confidence that inflation will sustainably move up to our 2 percent inflation target, is pretty high, that hurdle is pretty high. I’d be surprised if we met that condition myself in April.”

Later, speaking to the Forecasters Club of New York, Evans said in a Reuters report that a “very shallow” series of interest rate hikes over the next few years is appropriate to buffer the U.S. economy from outside shocks and the risk of inflation slipping too low. He raised his inflation forecast for this year to 1.6 percent — though he still expects it to take up to three years to hit the Fed’s 2-percent target, Reuters said.

Evans, an alternate member of the Federal Open Market Committee, also said a slow succession of U.S. rate hikes is warranted given the early-year bout of market volatility and the likelihood that such episodes will be more frequent, according to Reuters.The U.S. dollar index held off session lows with a decline of 0.35 percent, still its third-straight day of declines. The euro hit a high of $1.1364 against the dollar, its highest since Feb. 11. The yen was near 112.41 yen against the greenback. The dollar index is on pace for a quarterly decline of nearly 4 percent.

U.S. crude oil futures settled up 4 cents, or 0.1 percent at $38.32 a barrel. WTI spiked more than 3.5 percent after weekly inventories showed a build of 2.3 million barrels.

“People still couple oil with global growth potential,” said Kevin Mahn, president and chief investment officer at Hennion & Walsh Asset Management. “I don’t think that’s fair.”

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