Fed Forecasts Rate Hikes Beginning Next Month to Counter Inflation

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The Fed delivered on its well-telegraphed plan to raise interest rates as soon as next month in an effort to combat inflation. The central bank has been easing its bond-buying program and appears ready to reduce its balance sheet after a rate hike or two - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Despite all the choreography, markets swung to a loss not long after the Fed confirmed its policy plans - NYTimes and Bloomberg

Let’s see how they react to the Commerce Department’s release of GDP data later today. Analysts expect a 1%+ rise in Q4, which, if true, would mark 5.5% GDP growth on an annualized basis—the “largest one-year jump in growth since 1984.” Of course, any variation down from that number will surely send shares diving again - NYTimes and WSJ

Tesla delivered its best-ever yearly profit on Wednesday, as surging sales led to a sixfold increase in profit from a year earlier. Still, the company sought to temper expectations by warning that “supply chain troubles stemming from the pandemic would continue to be a constraint on production through the coming year” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Amazon will pay a relatively paltry $2.25 million to resolve a WA State AG investigation into whether the company engaged in illegal price fixing through its Sold by Amazon program that “guaranteed sellers a minimum price while offering a potential upside if [its pricing algorithm] determined that customers were willing to pay more” - NYTimes

File under “expected but still tough to see in black and white”: Boeing reported a loss of $4.3 billion for 2021 “after a $4.16 billion deficit in the final quarter, following a year when it slowly increased production of new jets but struggled to deliver them” - WSJ

Apple will soon reveal plans to take on Square in the battle for POS dominance through a coming service “that will let small businesses accept payments directly on their iPhones without any extra hardware”—a feature Apple’s been developing since its $100 million acquisition of Mobeewave in 2020 - Bloomberg and Mashable

Recent major drops in the value of digital currencies have prompted the IMF to urge El Salvador to end its grand Bitcoin-as-legal-tender experiment. The Fund warned that the country’s continued embrace of crypto “entails large risks for financial and market integrity, financial stability and consumer protection” - NYTimes

As promised, activist season is underway. So Bill Ackman’s recently announced 3.1 million share stake in Netflix should raise a few eyebrows, even as Ackman and the Pershing Square gang took pains to praise “the company’s business model” - WSJ and MarketWatch and TechCrunch

My boys couldn’t quite pull out a W in this one, but still. The Winter Classic was one to remember, and this deeper look at it from the Wild perspective is excellent - MNWild

Stay safe, and get boosted,

MDR

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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