The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will announce its decision on another interest rate hike Wednesday afternoon. Economists and Fed watchers are expecting the FOMC to leave the federal funds rate at its current level of 5.25% to 5.50%.
An added bonus this time is the release of the Fed’s famous (infamous) dot plot. The chart indicates the Fed officials’ view on where inflation is headed and offers an early reading on the possibility of future interest rate hikes.
There are two more FOMC meetings this year, one at the end of October and one in mid-December, and the Fed will not declare victory over inflation this soon when it has two more opportunities to pile up more data. In a Bloomberg survey of economists, personal consumption expenditures (PCE) and core PCE inflation are not expected to hit the Fed’s 2% target until 2026. That is a long way off.
In IPO news, Instacart (Maplebear Inc.) (NASDAQ: CART) priced its IPO at $30 a share and shares opened Tuesday morning at $42. The stock topped out at $42.95 before closing at $33.70. In premarket trading on Wednesday, the shares were down about 3.7% at around $32.40.
Taking a cue from Instacart, marketing automation platform Klaviyo Inc. (NYSE: KVYO) priced its IPO at $30 on Tuesday night, above the expected range of $27 to $29 per share. The stock begins trading Wednesday morning.
Klaviyo may find a more cautious bunch of IPO investors. Neither Instacart nor Arm Holdings PLC (NASDAQ: ARM) have been able to hold onto sharp early price jumps. Arm priced its IPO last week at $51 and shares jumped to $69 before dipping sharply and trading below $58 for the past couple of days. The shares were trading at around $54.20 in Wednesday’s premarket.
While Arm may have been a must-have stock at its IPO, Instacart was not. Klaviyo is, perhaps, even less of a must-own. When Facebook—now Meta Platforms Inc. (NASDAQ: META)—came public in May 2012, the shares were priced at $38; a week later, the stock traded at around $27 a share. If there was a must-have stock in 2005, it was Facebook. But patient investors got the bargain: Facebook’s shares did not recover their IPO price until August 2013.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly petroleum inventory report later Wednesday morning. Crude oil inventories rose by nearly 4 million barrels in the prior week, but Tuesday’s inventory report from the American Petroleum Institute showed a drop of about 5.3 million barrels for the week ended last Friday.
West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, climbed by $5 a barrel since last Thursday to reach a high of $93.74 on Tuesday, its highest level since last November. Since that peak, WTI has dropped more than $3 a barrel to trade at around $90.30.
Goldman Sachs has raised its 12-month Brent oil price forecast from $93 to $100 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, has been trading at a premium of around $3 to $4 to WTI for some time now. The good news is that Goldman believes the sharp rally in crude prices is in the rearview mirror. Brent may top $105 a barrel next year, but only for brief periods. Brent crude traded at around $93.50 early Wednesday, down about 0.9% from Tuesday’s closing price.
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