U.S. stocks have opened slightly higher ahead of the release the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April meeting later today which could pave the way for a possible rate hike at the Fed’s meeting in June.
During the Fed’s April meeting, Fed officials had strong March employment data in focus alongside rising PCE inflation figures from February which showed that U.S. inflation is moving closer to the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target.
In the 12 month period through March, the core PCE index, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, increased 1.6 percent, down slightly from 1.7 percent in February.
Yesterday, another inflation gauge, CPI, which isn’t the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent in April, the most increase in 3 years.
Meanwhile, Core CPI rose 0.2 percent in April, matching the consensus forecast from briefing.com.
On May 6th the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the April non-farm jobs report that showed 160,000 jobs were created in April, below the 207,000 consensus forecast from briefing.com, and below a downwardly revised 208,000 in March.
Yesterday Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockart and San Francisco Fed President John Williams suggested at a Politico sponsored event that the Federal Reserve could increase interest rates 2-3 times this year and mentioned the tightening could begin as early as the Fed’s meeting in mid June.