HIGHLIGHTS- EQUITIES, FUTURES & OPTIONS
US Senator Rick Scott (R), who just emerged from closed-door Senate GOP lunch, says a time agreement seems close and the Senate intends to finish the debt limit bill and amendment votes today, according to Punchbowl's Sherman
Microsoft (MSFT) inks deal for AI computing power with Nvidia-backed CoreWeave (NVDA) that could be worth billions, according to CNBC
Fed's Bullard (non-voter, hawk) reiterates that policy is now at the low end of what is arguably 'sufficiently restrictive' given current macroeconomic conditions Prospect for more disinflation is good but not guaranteed. Judging the level of restrictive rates is the FOMC's task.
Fed's Harker (voter, dovish) says Fed is close to the point where it can hold interest rates in place; closely monitoring data to assess whether additional policy tightening will be needed Sees 2023 GDP growth below 1% and unemployment rate to rise to 4.4%. Inflation to fall to around 3.5% this year, 2.5% next year, and reach Fed's 2% target in 2025. Disinflation "disappointingly slow", inflation is still "way above" Fed's target. Promising signs that Fed's rate hikes are working. Will take some time to evaluate how recent events impact economic activity and inflation.
Harker already spoke on Wednesday, where he said he was in the skip camp, although he crucially made the point that he doesn't think the Fed is at the stage where it can hold rates for a while, a 'pause'. Although in these remarks he appears to be saying the Fed is 'close' to that stage, following up with his remark that the Fed should "at least" skip raising rates in June
Goldman Sachs (GS) President says macro backdrop is extraordinary challenging and says there's not real stress on consumers