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Why today’s job numbers aren’t a reprieve from a rate hike

The Federal Reserve will raise the overnight cost of money on Wednesday
  • The Wednesday Fed rate-hike move is already built in to rates.
  • The Fed is hiking because the economic recovery is doing better and better with exceedingly low inflation.
  • The Trump administration’s tentative nominees for Fed Governor are purely mainstream.

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Long-term interest rates have held a crucial edge today despite another outsize gain in payrolls. Job gains show increasing health, but low and stable wage increases have given us a stay of execution. Not a reprieve. It’s just matter of days or weeks until long rates break upward. The edge upon which we stand is 2.60 percent on the 10-year U.S. T-note, and roughly 4.375 percent for mortgages. Tens have traded between 2.35 percent and 2.60 percent since the election, and there is no chart “support” above 2.60 percent all the way to 3.00 percent. The break will be substantial, and volatility will follow. The Fed will raise the overnight cost of money on Wednesday, from a band 0.50 percent-0.75 percent to 0.75 percent-1.00 percent. That Fed move is already built in to rates. The long-term break upward will depend in part on what the Fed says next week about further hikes to come, but inevitability is at hand. Other markets have begun to react, stocks perhaps topping...