“There’s the beginnings of a divide at the Fed, between inflation hawks and inflation doves,” Greg Valliere, chief global strategist of Horizon Investments, said in a video edition of his Capital Notes market commentary on Friday.
Valliere addressed two issues in the three-minute video: possible scenarios for the Fed’s next rate hike and the most likely nominees for the next U.S. president.
On the Fed’s next move, Valliere said the hawks feel “inflation is starting to percolate, and they don’t want to get behind the curve,” suggesting Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer is leading that charge. The doves, led by Charlie Evans in Chicago, feel there isn’t a need to raise rates again for several months, he said.
“I suspect that the hawks may get the upper hand and we may get a rate hike in mid-June — not at the April meeting; I think that’s too soon and there’s no press conference scheduled for Janet Yellen — but I think a June rate hike makes some sense as the inflation pool begins to gain more traction,” Valliere said. “For me, I’m not going to necessarily look at unemployment data, GDP data, retail sales. I think it’s the inflation data: CPI, PPI, the employment cost index.”
The other “big story” affecting markets, Valliere said, is the “bizarre, unprecedented political story that will continue to be front and center for the next several weeks.”
Valliere believes Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will all gain some delegates in Wisconsin on April 5, “but I think the big story is April 19 in New York.” Valliere believes the Democratic nomination will go to Clinton in a “landslide,” and with “so many delegates that it will become a virtual certainty that she will be the nominee. I think it’ possible that Bernie Sanders will be under enormous pressure to step down after the New York primary.”
On the Republican side, he believes “the math favors Trump.” If he wins most of the delegates in New York, then California in June, “if he gets to Cleveland, he’ll be very close to 1,237 delegates. If he’s short by a dozen or two, I can’t see them denying him the nomination.”
Valliere and Horizon Investments will conduct their next market call at 2 p.m. on April 6.
— Read If You’re Over 65, You Should Love the Fed on ThinkAdvisor.