The Federal Reserve re-entered the spotlight last week with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell toeing the line between fighting inflation and maintaining financial stability amid the ongoing banking sector volatility. The Fed raised interest rates by 0.25% moving the Fed Funds target range to 4.75% - 5.00%, a level not seen since 2007. The 2-year Treasury note, historically an accurate proxy of the Fed's policy rate, is pricing in future rate cuts after closing last week just above 3.75%. (Source: Schwab)
National home prices declined 0.2% in February from a year earlier. This may not seem significant, but it was the first annual decline in home prices in 11 years. The velocity of the real estate market has slowed considerably in February amid higher borrowing costs, with a 22.6% decline in the number of existing homes sold from a year earlier. (Source: The Wall Street Journal)
TikTok's CEO Shou Chew testified before Congress for more than five hours last Thursday over data security concerns and biased content moderation for the 150 million U.S. users on the social media platform. The U.S. is threatening to ban TikTok unless TikTok’s Chinese-based parent company, ByteDance, sells their 40% stake in the company. U.S. lawmakers are concerned U.S. data may slip into the hands of the Chinese government. (Source: Associated Press)
SVB INSIDER TRADING UNDER SCRUTINY- Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) executives sold $84 million in stock over the past 2 years, with $30 million of that total coming from CEO Greg Becker. Becker's last sale was on February 27th for $3.6 million; the bank would collapse 12 days later. (Source: CNBC)
“THE KID” KEEPS RAKING - Former MLB star and hall-of-famer Ken Griffey Jr. continues to cash checks from the Cincinnati Reds, despite not playing for the ball club since 2008. "The Kid" signed a deferred contract paying him $3.6 million per year from 2010 to 2024. (Source: Spotrac)
UNUSUAL FINAL FOUR - The NCAA Final Four has been set with some new faces; three of the four teams (University of Miami, San Diego State University, and Florida Atlantic University) will be making their first Final Four appearance in their school’s history, joining the UConn Huskies. For the first time since seeding began in 1979, no top three-seeded team reached the Final Four. (Source: ESPN)
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