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MarketWatch MarketPulseJan 28, 2022
The Tell: Fed seen as hiking interest rates seven times in 2022, or once at every meeting, BofA says
Brendan Smialowski/Press PoolInvestors could be in for seven 25-basis-point interest rate hikes this year, or one at each remaining Federal Reserve meeting, considering the central bank "has all but admitted that it is seriously behind the curve," according to a note by BofA Global Research.In the note released Friday, economist Ethan Harris and others made a call for seven 2022 hikes even though they've also cut their forecast for GDP growth this year to 3.6%, from 4% previously, citing supply and demand factors.  Financial markets have been preoccupied with the notion of the Fed gearing up for its first rate-hike cycle since 2015-2018 just as the U.S. economy may be slowing down. The Treasury yield curve, for example, has flattened substantially since the start of the year — a warning that there may be limits to how far policy makers can go without triggering fears of an impending recession. "Aggressive Fed tightening should affect the economy with a lag, weighing on 2023 growth," Harris and the others wrote. They see the fed funds rate target ultimately ending up in a range between 2.75% and 3%, versus its current level of zero to 0.25%. The economists said they are making "wholesale revisions" to their economic and monetary policy outlook for 2022 and 2023, and that "an even faster-than-expected drop in unemployment and longer-than-expected supply disruptions mean more inflation."Read:  U.S. inflation leaps 5.8% in 2021, PCE shows, and hits 40-year highTo be sure, BofA's seven-rate-hike call for 2022 isn't universally shared just yet. Fed funds futures are pointing to a more than 50% likelihood that the central bank will hike rates by 25 basis points at least five times this year, but the probability of seven hikes was only 6% as of Friday, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.Harris couldn't immediately be reached for comment.On Friday, most Treasury yields headed lower as U.S. consumer sentiment slumped to a decade low and inflation concerns mount. The 10-ye

MarketWatch MarketPulseJan 28, 2022
U.S. oil futures log a 6th straight weekly climb
Oil futures rose on Friday, with U.S. prices posting a sixth-consecutive weekly rise as the Russia-Ukraine crisis continued to put already tight global oil supplies at risk. Oil prices, however, settled below the day's best levels. With the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, together known as OPEC , due to meet next week and set to authorize another 400,000 barrel-per-day monthly output increase, "there must be ongoing disquiet that if prices continue their current trajectory, demand could well get choked off," said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK. West Texas Intermediate crude for March delivery rose 21 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $86.82 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. For the week, the front-month contract gained 2%, after settling Wednesday at the highest since October 2014, FactSet data show.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.



USA Today MoneyJan 28, 2022
Taxpayers alarmed by IRS notice asking them to resend their 2020 returns. Is it a scam?
For taxpayers, it's unsettling to get an IRS notice when you did everything by the book. Filed the return on time. Sent the money that was due.      
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