FOMC Minutes Indicate Possible Fed Tapering (Bloomberg)
The minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee’s recent meeting were released on Wednesday, revealing that Federal Reserve officials are willing to taper their bond-buying program later this year. “A few members emphasized the importance of being patient and evaluating additional information on the economy before deciding on any changes to the pace of asset purchases,” the minutes show. “Almost all participants confirmed that they were broadly comfortable” with the committee moderating “the pace of its securities purchases later this year,” according to the record of the Federal Open Market Committee’s July 30-31 gathering.
Stocks fell today, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average to slump to its lowest level in 13 months, as minutes from the Federal Reserve’s July meeting indicate that officials support stimulus cuts this year if the economy improves. “The Fed minutes continue to show this clear uncertainty as to when the monetary tightening will begin,” Erik Davidson, deputy chief investment officer for Wells Fargo Private Bank in San Francisco, said. “It will be a seminal moment when they move from the easing they’ve been in for years toward some incremental tightening steps. The minutes are quite clear in the sense that the Fed doesn’t know that we are there yet where the process can begin.”
Obamacare, Weak U.S. Growth Fuel Part-Time Hiring (CNBC)
Businesses have been on a hiring spree, but the downside of this seemingly positive development is that three out of four of the nearly 1 million hires this year are part-time. In addition, many of these jobs are low-paid. Both tepid economic growth at home and businesses’ fear of Obamacare’s implementation (which will drive up business costs) cause great concern to executives. But it won’t be until after Obamacare is implemented that executives can determine whether or not they have the resources to hire full-time employees. “Us and other people are hiring part-time because we don’t know what the costs are going to be to hire full-time,” said Steven Raz, founder of Cornerstone Search Group, a staffing firm in Parsippany, N.J. “We are being cautious.”