Interest Rates on Hold, Inflation, Facebook Earnings

January 28, 2016

Thursday – January 28

The U.S. Federal Reserve kept interest rates on hold at yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee meeting. The Monetary Policy Statement revealed that U.S. economic growth somewhat slowed in the last three months of 2015, while the labor market remained strong. On the inflation front, the Fed’s target rate of 2% has not yet been achieved, but will most likely hit that target, despite headwinds from lower oil prices and the stronger dollar. The Fed’s benchmark Fed Funds Rate remained at 0.50%. The National Association of REALTORS┬« (NAR) reported on Thursday that Pending Home Sales in December edged higher due to a big increase in the Northeast, which offset declines in other regions of the country. Sales were up a meager 0.1% from November, and are up 4.2% from December 2014. A spokesperson for the NAR said that “warmer than average weather and more favorable inventory conditions compared to other parts of the country encouraged more households in the Northeast to make the decision to buy last month.” Popular social networking service Facebook reported blowout corporate earnings on Wednesday afternoon, smashing Wall Street estimates on both total revenues and earnings. The roll out of its mobile app in the past year has seen more than 90% of monthly and daily users on mobile, the company said. It was the first quarter in the company’s history that earnings topped the $1 billion mark on $5.84 billion in revenues. For 2015, total revenues were up 44% from 2014 to $17.83 billion. Total users for Facebook hit 1.59 billion.