"Yellen didn’t sound at all like a lady with much conviction on that six-month timeframe," says the WSJ's Jon Hilsenrath, offering his take on the line that seemed to upset Wall Street so much yesterday.
A check of the Fed schedule finds the late October meeting the one at which the FOMC could decide to end QE. Six months from that point suggests a rate hike in April, "but a lot would have to go right in the economy for that to happen," he writes. "Yellen doesn’t sound like a person who feels particularly bound to that course."
What Yellen did do yesterday, he says, is reawaken investors to interest rate risk - Wall Street had become a bit complacent in believing hikes weren't coming until mid-to-late 2015, and now must price in the chance of tighter policy somewhat ahead of that time frame.
Long-term yields have backed off a bit from yesterday's spike, the 10-year Treasury down four basis points to 2.78%, but the 2-year Treasury gains another basis point to 0.43% - matching its highest level since September. The June 2015 Eurodollar futures contract is pricing in a Fed Funds rate about 40 basis points higher than it is today.
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