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Peter Knowles: "Fed’s focus on inflation"

24.02.2014 12:46

Last week, all eyes were on the Fed. Peter Knowles of Morgan Stanley explains the implications for the markets: "What Janet Yellen and the Fed are really focusing on is the two percent inflation rate, not so much the 6.5 unemployment rate. In her words, there is more work to be done. We think we are going to reach that 6.5 unemployment rate rather quickly."

In addition to the labor market goals, the Fed also expressed its forward guidance. "As far as that is concerned, we are looking towards the Fed’s guidance on the inflation rate. Certain political policy might come into play there like Obama’s middle class agenda", says Knowles who expects tapering to continue. "They’re going to continue to taper. They may play with the numbers – five billion, ten billion or stall one month or another. But overall it’s the goal we’re focused on." Next week sees various housing data on tap: "Just recently the housing market situation has been a mixed bag. Over the past two years we’ve had some strong home price recovery. That’s what we want to focus on. We think the recent numbers were a stall in price increases. That, we believe is due to the rise in rates last spring and the fall in mortgage applications. We’re feeling that pain at the moment. But we do believe we are going to grow. It’s important to look at homebuilder stocks." Knowles is optimistic for small- to mid-cap space investors. "There’s really a lot of cash on the sidelines out there. If the Fed begins to play with rates that cash will come into the system and could really drive growth forward. Active managers can find their sweet spot in the small to mid-cap space." For more details tune into "Inside Wall Street" with chief US correspondent Manuel Koch.

Looking for the German version of the interivew? Click here.

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