Monday Market Commentary: Bernanke’s Big Day

by Alex Stenback on March 27, 2006

Last Week
Rates whipsawed around a little last week, but ended essentially unchanged.  Fed Chair Bernanke spoke, existing home sales gave an upside surprise, new home sales tanked (down 10.5%, but LOTS of regional disparity.)  The old standard "weather" and "time of year" were blamed for these sales figures, which are, once again, just a snapshot – jury still out on how much cooling off is going on in the housing market, though it IS slowing.
This Week
Chairman Bernanke’s first meeting looms large Tuesday, with a .25% rate hike a foregone conclusion.  Conventional wisdom says an inflation fighting Fed is good for rates, so we may see some slight improvement on the heels of this hike.  Keep in Mind: What the Fed SAYS in their statement (rather than what the Fed DOES with rates) accompanying the hike is has the most potential to move the market.
ยท This Week’s Economic Calendar [barrons.com]

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