The Balance Today: News You Need To Know on Nov. 22, 2022

What’s Fed Speak and Why Do Investors Care?

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Today, “Fed speak” (or comments from Federal Reserve officials) as it’s called, could capture your attention during a week when many people are focused on what sides they’ll cook for their Thanksgiving dinners. We’ll be hearing from Kansas City Fed President Esther George later this afternoon while Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and the typically hawkish St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are also expected to give remarks.

We’re less than a month away from the next Fed policy meeting, and after several jumbo-sized rate hikes this year, investors are looking for any and all hints about the direction the Fed will go next. 

But rate hikes impact everyone, not just investors, and we could get a clearer picture of how much higher rates have slammed the housing market with several reports due next week, including the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index and the National Association of Realtors’ report on pending home sales.

Higher rates make borrowing money more expensive, so if the Fed hikes rates by another 75 basis points, expect much higher interest rates on mortgages, car loans, or credit card debt. Home affordability has continued to decline as the Fed tightens policy, with the national median payment up 3.7% to $2,012 last month, up from $1,941 in September, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported this morning.

Stocks are rising this morning on the heels of strong earnings reports from Best Buy and others, and as investors consider the latest comments from Fed officials. As a reminder, markets will be closed Thursday and will close earlier on Friday for the holidays.

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  1. Mortgage Bankers Association. "Mortgage Application Payments Rise 3.7 Percent to $2,012 in October."

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