A lesson on how markets and traders anticipate interest rate changes for stock, futures and forex traders.
Link to FOMC Rate Announcement: www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/press/monetary/20080130a.htm
In our last lesson we looked at how The Fed is expected to react at different points in the business cycle, and what the expected market movement will be as a result. In today's lesson we are going to look at how the Fed goes about signaling to the market changes in their thinking on the direction of monetary policy, so we can begin to understand why markets react not only to Fed interest rate announcements but just as importantly to events which change the markets anticipation of how the Fed may react.
While we have simplified the situation in order to better understand the basics of how The Fed uses monetary policy, as you can probably tell by now, forecasting economic conditions and using monetary policy to try and manage those conditions is a very difficult process. The members of the FOMC are constantly analyzing economic data from across the country to try and gauge where the economy is in the business cycle and what if any monetary policy action is needed.
As we have touched on in previous lessons, the FOMC has 8 regularly scheduled meetings throughout the year where they meet to discuss current economic conditions and expectations of future conditions. It is at these meetings that decisions on what changes if any in monetary policy need to be made. Upon completion of these meetings a press released is issued an example of which you can see at the link below if you are watching this video on InformedTrades.com or in the description section if you are watching this video on Youtube.
As we've learned in previous lessons, what the FOMC decides to do with their target for Fed Funds Rate at this meeting has wide ramifications for the economy and therefore the markets. With this in mind the results of these meetings are closely followed by market participants. It is important to understand however that the market not only looks for whether or not the FOMC takes action on the Fed Funds Rate and by how much, but also for any clues in the Fed's Statement as to what their bias may be for future rate decisions.
This is a very key point to understand because the markets are always trying to anticipate what is going to happen and therefore they move up and down depending on what people think will happen to rates going forward. Anything that comes out from this meeting or any thing else that is in line with what the market expects should have little or no effect on the market. Conversely anything that comes out which changes the markets forecasts on what if any Fed action will be, can cause drastic moves in the markets as participants react to this new information and markets adjust accordingly.