Grumpy Editor notes confusion prevails as financial eyes focus on Thursday’s Federal Reserve policy meeting that will determine whether or not there will be an interest rate rise from zero to 0.25 percent.
Chatter on the slim increase has been going on for months. Constant mentions of a possible boost have sent the stock market down, while mentions of a delay in the raise have sent the market up.
Consider these contrasting headlines in print over the weekend:
Fed Expected to Order Interest Rate Increase was over a Reuters report. (“A Reuters poll of 72 economists showed a slight majority expect an interest rate rise”…at this week’s policy meeting.
Economists See Fed Waiting on Rate Hike topped a Wall Street Journal story. (It cited, “most private economists think the Federal Reserve will keep short-term interest rates near zero this coming week.’)
If there is no upward interest rate move announced following Thursday’s meeting, then look for continued market gyrations leading up to the Fed meeting in October, then if no action, December.
Among operations rocking and rolling with rate discussions in recent months were publicly-owned real estate investment trusts (REITs), which own or finance income-producing real estate such as office buildings, shopping malls and medical facilities.
The Wall Street Journal last week pointed out that category was “lagging behind the broader market this year amid concerns that REIT stocks will suffer if the Federal Reserve raises interest rates.”
Confusion there, too.
The National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) website noted, “the historical record reveals that share prices of listed equity REITs have more often increased than decreased during periods of rising interest rates.”
In case you missed these…
There’s that “domesticated” word again, regarding inflation. An Associated Press economics writer on Friday wrote: “The prices charged by U.S. manufacturers, farmers and other producers were unchanged in August, the latest evidence that inflation is tame.”
Weak data from China triggers U.S. stock market rise. Head-scratching routine as with last Tuesday’s market: U.S. stocks opened sharply higher after weak economic data out of China bolstered hopes of more stimulus measures from the Chinese government.
Problems continue with sloppy VA attention to veterans. Associated Press reported nearly 900,000 military veterans have officially pending applications for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs, but "serious" problems with enrollment data make it impossible to determine how many veterans were actively seeking VA health care. Officials said some applicants may have died years ago.
What most media missed: While President Barack Obama was emphasizing climate change during his recent Alaska visit, a U.S. submarine was having difficulty poking through 30 feet of Arctic ice.
More media folks clear out desks. Bloomberg’s news division began September by cutting up to 90 editorial jobs. In other trimming action, Tribune Publishing Co., unexpectedly axed Los Angeles Times publisher Austin Beutner and replaced him with Tim Ryan, publisher of the Baltimore Sun, also owned by Chicago-based Tribune. Insiders expected another round of buyout offers to veteran Times newsroom staffers.
Incomplete details: A CBS radio top-of-the-hour news item on Friday merely mentioned a shooting at a Downey, Calif., restaurant, without disclosing the name of the eatery or even the type of food --- and what led up to the episode. Turns out a man carjacked a sedan at gunpoint, led police on a high-speed chase through several Los Angeles County cities before he holed up in a Chris & Pitts BBQ restaurant where he was killed by sheriff’s deputies when he approached customers with a gun.
Young journalist produces monthly newspaper ---
Eight-year-old Hilde Lysiak, for nine months now, writes, takes photos and delivers the four-page Orange Street News to more than 50 subscribers (at $2 a year) in her community of Selinsgrove, Pa.
She told the New York Daily News, “I really like getting to the truth and reporting it.”