You can read today’s inflation data either way

The Federal Reserve would like to see inflation at its target rate of 2% or so before raising interest rates but the central bank certainly doesn’t want to hold off on a rate increase for so long that inflation runs out of control. For August the core PCE, the key measure since it excludes volatile food and energy prices, was up 0.2%. That brings the year over year change in core PCE to 1.7%. That’s a slight increase from the 1.6% annual rate seen in July.

As usual today’s OPEC agreement to cut production is more talk than action

Oil rallied big time today on news that OPEC countries have agreed to reimpose a production ceiling and to drop production to 32.5 to 33 million barrels a day. At the low end of the range that would amount to a decrease in production of 750,000 barrels a day from what OPEC says it pumped in August. West Texas Intermediate is up 4.48% to $46.67 a barrel today and the Brent benchmark is up 5.11% to $48.32 a barrel. But this is a typical OPEC “agreement.”

It looks like “No deal” to raise oil prices at OPEC meeting tomorrow

It looks like “No deal” to raise oil prices at OPEC meeting tomorrow

Ahead of tomorrow’s OPEC “consultations” in Algiers, Saudi Arabia put an offer on the table today to reduce oil production to January levels and Iran rejected it. Iran wants to increase its current production of 3.6 million barrels a day to 4 million barrels, the level before international sanctions devastated the country’s oil exports. The Saudi offer would have reduced Saudi Arabia’s production by 500,000 barrels a day, but only if other OPEC members agreed to freeze production at current levels.

The Federal Reserve announces more bad news for the biggest banks–and their stocks.

The worst news for U.S. big banks today has come in a talk by Federal Reserve governor Dan Tarullo on changes to the Fed’s stress test rules for banks. The modifications will are designed to lift some of the regulatory burden from smaller regional banks who will be exempted from some of the qualitative parts of the stress test, but they will increase capital requirements for the eight “globally significant” institutions