There were two big potential market movers on the calendar today: ISM non-manufacturing and the Fed announcement.  ISM data is out and it is boring (right in line with forecasts, both at the headline level and on "prices paid").  That leaves the focus on the Fed events this afternoon.  There is no updated dot plot (Fed rate forecasts) this time, but there's always a press conference to help flesh out forward guidance.  On that topic, the question is how forcefully--if at all--the Fed will gesture toward any additional hikes.  To be sure, "data dependent" will come into play no matter how the notion of a "pause" is handled.

One decision that the market sees as relatively clear-cut is whether or not the Fed hikes today.  On that topic, there is almost unanimous agreement on a hike.  In the chart below, a value of 5.08% would signify a 100% chance of a hike based on market expectations.  5.04% = close enough!

20230503 open.png

Notice also that there hasn't been much change to the blue line (May meeting) over the past month while there has been more uncertainty regarding the following meeting.  As of yesterday's double whammy from JOLTS and the swoon in bank stocks, traders are mostly priced for a "hike and pause" message from the Fed.