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Jeremy Siegel: Expect the Fed to 'substantially' slow down rate hikes in 2019

Key Points
  • "The market is clearly worried about over-tightening of the Fed," Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel says.
  • Siegel predicts that Fed officials will cut back on its planned interest rate hikes next year.
  • "The market is saying that the pace is a little too fast," he argues.
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The Federal Reserve will likely ease up on its plans for multiple interest rate hikes next year, Wharton School finance professor Jeremy Siegel told CNBC on Tuesday.

In addition to an anticipated rate rise in December, the central bank has indicated it plans three more in 2019.

"The market is clearly worried about over-tightening of the Fed," Siegel said on "Closing Bell." "I expect Chairman [Jerome] Powell to either make a speech or indicate in the next [Federal Open Market Committee] meeting that the Fed is going to substantially slow down its rate of rate hikes in 2019. "

Major U.S. stock indexes plummeted Tuesday, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and turning negative for the year.

Shrugging off rumors that a recession could be looming, Siegel said the market is showing other signs.

"The market is saying that the pace is a little too fast," he contended. "It's not strong enough to take a 3.5 percent fed funds rate or higher next year."

Siegel is not alone in his projection. According to a recent Reuters poll, a strong majority of economists surveyed over the past week say the Fed will slow the pace next year. Meanwhile, a new CNBC Global CFO Council survey found that 45.9 percent expect two rate hikes in 2019, while 40.5 percent expect three.

Powell, who became the 16th chairman of the Federal Reserve in February, is scheduled to speak at the Economic Club of New York on Wednesday, Nov. 28.

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Key Points
  • The Dow will drop to 23,000 before it ever reaches above 27,000 again, according to just over half of CFOs on the CNBC Global CFO Council in a recent survey.
  • That would represent an 8 percent decline in the Dow from its current level.
  • The trade war with China is the No. 1 concern among CFOs in the fourth quarter.