US stocks rally as Fed minutes meets expectations.

KITSAP COUNTY- Wall Street closed higher Wednesday, boosted after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting showed policymakers unanimously felt the United States economy was very strong as they grappled with reining in inflation without triggering a recession.

Most Federal Reserve officials agreed at their gathering this month that the central bank needed to tighten in half-point steps over the next couple of meetings, continuing an aggressive set of moves that would leave policy makers with flexibility to shift gears later if needed.

The latest minutes show that there is a consensus among Fed officials about the growing need for tighter monetary policy from the central bank, while interest rates could be increased more quickly than markets have currently priced in.

“Most participants judged that 50 basis-point increases in the target range would likely be appropriate at the next couple of meetings,” minutes of the Fed’s May 3-4 meeting released Wednesday in Washington showed. “Many participants judged that expediting the removal of policy accommodation would leave the committee well-positioned later this year to assess the effects of policy firming and the extent to which economic developments warranted policy adjustments.”

IMPACT ON KITSAP COUNTY

US stock markets were mixed Thursday after notes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting confirmed expectations for more interest rate hikes but contained no surprises to rattle investors.

STOCK

Investors in kitsap county are uneasy over the impact of interest rate hikes in the United States and other Western economies to cool surging inflation.

Wednesday’s Fed release showed board members support 0.5-percentage-point hikes at their next two meetings. That will weigh on economic activity but already was factored into stock prices.

Businesses in Kitsap also are worried about the impact of Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine and an unexpectedly sharp Chinese economic slowdown.

Businesses in Kitsap County hope the Fed will be able to cool inflation that is running at a four-decade high without tipping the biggest global economy into recession.

The Fed raised its key interest rate by 0.5 percentage points at its May meeting in its most aggressive move in two decades. It indicated more hikes were to come.

The stock rose higher as investors gauged the minutes of the Fed’s policy meeting in May: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3%, up more than 100 points, while the S&P 500 rose 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite 1.4%.

The latest minutes show there is consensus among Fed officials about the growing need for tighter monetary policy from the central bank, while interest rates could be raised more rapidly than currently market prices 

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