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July 18, 2019, 2:48 p.m. EDT

Traders see 50% chance of half-point rate cut in July after Fed's Williams remarks

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By Sunny Oh

Traders in the fed funds futures market now expect a more than 50% chance of a 50 basis point rate cut by the Federal Reserve at its July 30-31 meeting, following the release of prepared remarks from New York Fed President John Williams. The chance of a 50 basis point rate-cut was estimated at 34% a day ago. The 2-year Treasury note yield , sensitive to expectations for Fed policy, tumbled 5.5 basis points to 1.781%. Debt prices move in the opposite direction of yields. Williams said the Fed should respond early to signs of economic weakness."When you only have so much stimulus at your disposal, it pays to act quickly to lower rates at the first sign of economic distress," he said. Among members of the Federal Open Market Committee, Williams has been an advocate for preemptive, or "insurance," rate cuts to prolong the expansion.

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