Prime Rate

also known as the Fed, National or United States Prime Rate,
from the interest-rate specialists at www.FedPrimeRate.comSM

Friday, July 10, 2009

Futures Market 98% Certain U.S. Prime Rate Will Hold At 3.25% After The August 11 Monetary Policy Meeting

prime rate forecastIt's been a volatile week in equities markets, so we're going to mix this Prime Rate forecast with a bear market update.

Since closing with record highs on October 9, 2007, the DJIA has now lost 6,018.01 points (42.486%), while the S&P 500 Index has shed 686.02 points (43.831%). The record high for the DJIA is 14,164.53; for the S&P 500 Index it's 1,565.15.

Year-to-date, the DJIA is down 629.87 points (7.177%), while the S&P 500 is down 24.12 points (2.67%).

OK, so now for some positive bear-market news: since the bear-market low of March 6, 2009, the DJIA is up by 1,519.58 points (22.93%), while the S&P 500 is up by 195.75 points (28.644%).

  • There's also good news from an energy perspective: crude oil for future delivery closed at $59.89 per barrel in New York today. On July 11, 2008, crude closed at $145.08 per barrel. That's a year-over-year decline of $85.19 (58.719%). No one wants high energy prices to slow down an already drawn-out economic recovery, so most of the economic world is hoping that crude oil prices remain tame. However, lower oil prices also mean that global demand for energy is relatively weak, which could mean that a return to prosperity may be further down the road than many economists are currently predicting.
  • There was also some halfway decent news from the Labor Department yesterday. Though the unemployment rate for June 2009 was reported at 9.5% in a previously released Labor Department report -- and will likely rise this month -- new claims for unemployment benefits dipped below the 600K mark for the first time in countless weeks. For the week that ended on July 4, 2009, 565,000 Americans applied for jobless benefits. This news, however, was tempered by fact that continuing claims for jobless benefits surged by 159,000 to 6,883,000.
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As of right now, the investors who trade in fed funds futures at the Chicago Board of Trade have odds at 98% (as implied by current pricing on contracts) that the FOMC will vote to leave the benchmark target range for the Federal Funds Rate at its current level at the August 11TH, 2009 monetary policy meeting.


Summary of the Latest Prime Rate Forecast:
  • Current odds that the Prime Rate will remain at the current 3.25% after the August 11TH, 2009 FOMC monetary policy meeting is adjourned: 98% (very likely)
  • NB: U.S. Prime Rate = (The Federal Funds Target Rate + 3)

The odds related to federal-funds futures contracts -- widely accepted as the best predictor of where the FOMC will take the benchmark Fed Funds Target Rate -- are constantly changing, so stay tuned for the latest odds.

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