Monday, August 10, 2015 - Article by: Mark Hemingway - Security Financial Services, LLC -
The big talk on Wall Street continues to be whether or not the Federal Reserve will begin to raise the short term Fed Funds Rate sometime in the fall. Most economists feel that a rate hike will come in September, but Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer put some doubts on that happening next month. Mr. Fisher said today that the interesting situation is that employment has been rising pretty fast, but inflation continues to run very low. Mr. Fischer does not want to see a raise in rates until we can see inflation return to more normal levels.After falling for the last seven business days, Stock prices are rallying today on a series of bullish headlines. Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to purchase Precision Castparts, a U.S. aircraft parts maker for $37.2B. Additionally, Mr. Buffet made bullish comments on shares of IBM. Overseas, Chinese producer prices fell, conjuring up notions that its central bank may evoke additional stimulus measures. It was also reported that Greek banks may be getting capital infusions in the next few weeks.With a glut of oil running through global pipelines and demand a bit low, prices have been falling since spring. The price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) has fallen to $44/barrel from the $62 seen in the beginning of May. The recent decline in oil has sent the national average price for a regular gallon of gasoline at the pumps to $2.59, down from $2.75 in early May. AAA says that gas prices could drop even further if oil continues to fall and we could see another run towards $2 per gallon by the end of the year.
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