The Federal Reserve announced yesterday they will soon begin reducing the pace of their monthly bond purchases, the first step towards pulling back on the massive amount of help the Fed has been providing markets and the economy. Tapering of bond purchases will start “later this month,” the policymaking Federal Open Market Committee said in its post-meeting statement. The process will see reductions of $15 billion each month -- $10 billion in Treasury’s and $5 billion in mortgage-backed securities – from the current $120 billion a month that the Fed is buying. Investors have moved the futures market to show they expect the Fed to actually raise interest rates in July of 2022.
A measure of U.S. services industry activity surged to a record high in October likely as declining COVID cases boosted demand, but businesses remained burdened by snarled supply chains and the resulting exorbitant prices. The Institute for Supply Management said their non-manufacturing activity index jumped to a reading of 66.7 last month. That was the highest since the series started in 1997 and followed a 62 reading in September. A reading above 50 indicates growth in the services sector, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity.