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FEDERAL RESERVE EXPECTED TO LOWER INTEREST RATES
POLITICO reports:

The Federal Reserve appears even more likely to lower interest rates when officials meet July 30-31 amid signs of slowing economic growth. The central bank on Wednesday released the minutes from its June meeting, when many officials made the case for cutting rates soon, writes Pro Financial Services' Victoria Guida.

Fed officials pointed to weakening business confidence and manufacturing activity, arguing that a rate cut "would be warranted in the near term should these recent developments prove to be sustained," according to the minutes.

Chairman Jerome Powell also hinted at the likelihood of a rate cut at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, sending stocks to new highs. That could spell good news for producers reliant on certain types of loans to finance their operations, since higher rates can make business more expensive for farmers and ranchers who are already facing financial headwinds.

Risk factors: At the June meeting, members of the Fed's rate-setting committee said they're keeping an eye on economic risks including additional tariffs, which could lead to lower consumer spending, and the approaching deadlines for Congress to lift the debt ceiling and fund the government beyond September.

White House budget officials met with Republican leaders on Wednesday to discuss a plan to advance negotiations with Democrats over the debt ceiling and annual spending limits. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin also held a phone call with Speaker Nancy Pelosi to talk about a potential budget deal.


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