Picking up Nickels

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Capital One cuts Money Market rate, will others follow?

Capital One just cut the APY for the money market account that I use for my business from 5.00% to 4.80%. Since they were late to the industry-wide rate increases earlier this year, I'm wondering if this is a harbinger of things to come. Will rate leaders like EmigrantDirect and HSBC Direct follow?

I have been of the opinion that the FOMC is not necessarily done raising rates yet, but the market seems to be interpreting the minutes from their August meeting as a sign that no more rate hikes are on the horizon (see Is the Fed really done?).

Moving some cash from my online savings account and locking in current rates for a longer term has been in the back of my mind for a while now. The World Savings 13-month CD @ 5.91% APY is attractive, but I have held off since they have no local presence and require you to fund the CD by check, which kind of defeats the purpose of an internet CD. Still, it might be time to stick $10k in there.

I've also been keeping an eye on U.S. Treasury Notes, but rates on them have been dropping since market sentiment seems to believe that the FOMC will be cutting rates if the economy slows next year. I still don't think that rate cuts are a given, since a hurricane, Mideast tensions, or a cold winter could cause a spike in energy prices (and therefore inflation). I guess that's why bond traders get paid well.

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