The big news of the day was the release of the Consumer Price Index report. This report measures inflation on the consumer level. Although not the report most closely watched by the Fed, it is arguably the most accurate reflection of inflation in the US. Since it includes housing and medical expenses, which we all face, it should be more valued by Fed members in making their assessments on the economy. The report showed a Headline increase of 0.3% for the past month, pushing the year-over-year figure higher from 1.1% up to 1.5%, which was also the quickest gain in almost two years. The Core Rate, which strips out food and energy prices was up only 0.1%, missing expectations of an increase of 0.2%.
Stocks are up sharply on combined news of a lower than anticipated Core rate of inflation along with strong earnings reports out of Wall Street. Mortgage bonds have also improved, with prices moving above a key level that was serving as overhead resistance. With bonds now past this important inflation report, bonds may have found stability within the current trading range. This is an opportunity for hopeful optimism combined with an element of defensiveness within the strategy.
Although there isn’t a great need to rush to lock at the moment, if you choose to float do so carefully.