The Federal Reserves favorite gauge of inflation the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index excluding food and energy rose 5.4% to its highest annual level since 1983. Including gas and groceries, the PCE measure jumped 6.4%, the fastest pace since January 1982. This certainly clears the deck for the Fed to continue raising interest rates.
Oil prices dropped sharply this morning after reports that U.S. President Joe Biden is considering the release of up to 180 million barrels from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve. Biden is set to give remarks later today, with multiple outlets reporting that the plan to cool soaring crude prices will involve the release of around 1 million barrels of oil per day for several months.
Initial unemployment claims rose modestly after reaching a 50-year low as employers continue to show reluctance in reducing their workforces in the current competitive labor market. The Labor Department reported that 202,000 Americans filed for unemployment claims last week.
Global Stocks are set to close their first negative quarter in 2 years. It could have been a lot worse if stocks didn’t stage a comeback in March.