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Merrill: Fed Rate Hike Nov. 10?

By John S. McClenahen David A. Rosenberg, chief North American economist for Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, wonders why the futures markets are nearly 85% sure that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will raise the federal funds target rate by 25 basis points at its next scheduled meeting on Nov. 10. The rate, which is the interest banks charge each other on overnight loans, is now at 1.75%. "Much will depend on whether the tepid job gains last month are confirmed in the October nonfarm payroll report, which comes out on Nov. 5," says Rosenberg. If the FOMC does raise the rate a quarter of a percentage point, that will be it for a while, the Merrill economist believes. "We are sticking to our view that the Fed will be done at 2% on the funds rate."

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