Following the Fed’s December meeting, they announced a widely expected acceleration in tapering, doubling the monthly reduction in asset purchases from $15 to $30 billion, putting them on pace to wrap up by early spring. They also went a step further in expecting three interest rate increases next year, which the Fed futures market also expected, although compared to last month, Fed futures are expecting rates to rise slightly earlier now, following the Fed’s early May meeting. Across the pond, the Bank of England raised its interest rate target, the first major central bank to begin that process.
Volatility crept back into markets as they tried to digest Fed policy with other headwinds facing the economy. While the market reacted favorably to the Fed announcement, with the S&P 500 gaining 1.63% on Wednesday, it was down every other day in the week, ending the week down 1.9 1 %, with growth taking the brunt of the hit with the Russell 1000 Growth down 2.99%.
Omicron is pushing Europe to pump the breaks on reopening with more travel restrictions being put in place and various countries discussing other restrictions as parts of the UK see Omicron doubling every 1.5 days.
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