Market update: Rate hikes may be on hold till 2020


This week in the markets

  • The Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it does not currently plan to increase rates at all in 2019 due to slowing economic growth.
  • On Wednesday, President Trump said that Chinese trade tariffs could be around for a while. His comments had a short-lived negative impact on some US stock indexes.
  • Instagram is testing a new Checkout feature, which allows users to purchase products in-app.

Rate hikes will likely hold steady through 2019

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) held a two-day meeting this week where it discussed the economic outlook and potential rate hikes for the rest of 2019 and 2020. After the meeting, the Federal Reserve announced it does not currently plan to raise rates at all this year and may bump them up only once in 2020. Remember, the Fed is able to influence the pace of economic growth by toggling the discount rate — which is the interest rate at which banks borrow.

The decision to hold rates steady may be due to a slowing economy and lower consumer and business spending. Although a slight economic slowdown was noted by the Fed, it also said that the US economy is “in a good place with favorable conditions.”

Chinese trade tariffs may be around for a while

On Wednesday, President Trump warned that US tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese exports may be here to stay for “a substantial period of time.” The US and China have been trying to negotiate a resolution to the “trade war” since last year, when both nations imposed new tariffs on each other’s exports. After the President’s announcement on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped nearly 200 points midday. However, the markets did make a turnaround at Thursday’s close, with the DJIA rising 0.84%, the S&P 500 increasing 1.09%, and the NASDAQ up 1.42%.

Instagram is testing a new in-app Checkout feature

Instagram announced that it would be testing a new feature called Checkout, which would allow users to buy products, including fashion and beauty products, within the photo-sharing app. Brands involved in the beta testing period include Zara, Adidas, and H&M. Insta-shopping will also include in-app notifications about shipping and delivery for users who check Instagram more than email. Could Insta-shopping also come with Insta-remorse? With millions of product options available instantly (without leaving social media), the answer could be yes. The stock price of Facebook (the parent company of Instagram) was up 0.39% at Thursday’s close.

And now for your weekly Lionomics wrap-up. ? ?

Lionomics: Finance made easy

This week in Lionomics, we discussed gender disparities in the labor force, including the wage gap between men and women. Find out how MoneyLion plans to PavetheWage℠ and bring attention to the 17% gender wage gap in America. ?

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