Well, the minutes from the September 18 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting have debuted for public consumption, and it appears that the consensus was unanimous for a half-point rate cut to 4.75%, with no opposition to the move.
The grouping of central-bank officials collectively concluded that the dramatic reduction in the key interest rate was the most prudent course of action, but noted (naturally) that future rate decisions would rely on how the economy fared in future weeks.
In other interesting news from the minutes, the Fed neglected to include its standard balance of risk statement, as the Fed's economic outlook was rather unclear. Providing such a statement, according to the minutes, could give the mistaken impression that the FOMC was more certain about the economic outlook that was in fact the case.
Other observations included the fact that the housing market remained exceptionally weak and that the labor market could endure further slowdown. The Committee did note that it is a little more confident on a sustained drop in inflation.
Fed funds futures were little changed in the wake of this report. November futures currently price in a 36% chance of a 25 basis-point easing at the October 30-31 meeting. The December contract is fully pricing in a year-end rate of 4.5% and an 11% chance for an additional cut down to 4.25%. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) moved slightly north after the minutes hit the Street.