A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week:
With inflation high and the economy strengthening, the Fed has made clear that it’s nearly ready to end its bond-buying program meant to keep longer-term rates low, as well as to raise short-term rates off their record low. When the Fed concludes its two-day meeting on Wednesday, many on Wall Street expect it to indicate that rates could begin rising in March. Higher rates would mark an end to the “easy mode” that investors have been enjoying since early 2020.
Apple reports its latest quarterly results on Thursday. The tech giant alone accounts for roughly 6.8% of the S&P 500′s entire market value. It’s grown that big because it’s been able to churn out profits almost regardless of what the broader economy is doing. It will need to keep delivering strong growth if interest rates keep rising. Higher rates tend to lower the price that stock investors are willing to pay for each $1 of profit that a company produces.
On Friday, Wall Street gets to see what the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge for inflation says. Economists expect to see a 5.7% rise from a year earlier for the personal consumption expenditures price index, or PCE. That would match the previous month’s level. Many of the policy makers at the Fed expect PCE inflation to fall back toward 3% or below in 2022.
PCE inflation, year over year
Dec. (est.) 5.7%