December 13, 2017
The Fed raised rates as expected and is keeping to expectations for a similar series of incremental rate hikes next year. Yellen, in her last press conference as Fed chair, expressed frustration that inflation hasn't been showing traction and noted that the unemployment rate may have to continue to fall before full employment is met. And low inflation is the signal once again from the consumer price report where November's core rate could only manage a 0.1 percent gain with the year-on-year rate dipping 1 tenth to 1.7 percent.
Stocks rose early in the session amid confidence that Republicans in the House and Senate will succeed at a tax-cut deal. But gains faded after the Fed raised rates and Yellen talked of low inflation yet the Dow still posted a 0.3 percent gain to a new record at 24,585. Despite the Fed's rate hike, Treasury yields moved lower perhaps in reaction to the lack of inflation with the 2-year Treasury yield down a very steep 7 basis points to 1.78 percent and the 10-year yield down 5 basis points to 2.35 percent. Low rates are often a negative for the dollar as the dollar index fell a sharp 0.7 percent to 93.43.