Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan isn't the only person with a vested interest in U.S. interest rates. Manufacturing executives also have a vital stake in the cost of borrowing, and they, suggests Merrill Lynch & Co., might get some clarity on where rates are headed when Greenspan testifies before Congress' Joint Economic Committee on June 9.
Merrill is interpreting "dovish" remarks delivered June 1 by Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard W. Fisher as a suggestion that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), of which Fisher is a voting member, could stop tightening the U.S. money supply as early as the end of this month -- and no later than its August 9 session.
The target for the benchmark federal funds rate is now 3%. Expectations are that the target will be raised by another 25 basis points, to 3.25%, at the FOMC's June 29-30 meeting.