Two more rate hikes could spark a recession, market researcher James Bianco warns

He's been worried the Federal Reserve would go too far.

And now, market researcher James Bianco thinks his fear may be a reality.

His updated outlook follows the Fed's decision to plan for additional interest rate hikes next year. Bianco believes the move could spark a recession.

"The markets are worried that two rate hikes next year may be too many," the Bianco Research president said Wednesday on CNBC's "Trading Nation."

According to Bianco, the Fed's latest statement is just the prescription to frighten the market over a monetary error — adding that the leading cause of a recession is Fed policy that's too tight.

He's also concerned the balance sheet reduction plans in 2019 could create serious headwinds.

"It was not dovish enough for the market," he said about the Fed's statement.

Bianco, who has been critical of the central bank's policies, suggested in October that Fed Chairman Jerome Powell was leading the economy down a dangerous path.

"They have to be very, very careful that they don't wind up of breaking something like they've done in the past with monetary policy being too tight," Bianco said.

Even though the Fed decided to lower its rate-hike forecast from three to two for next year, he was hoping Powell would indicate a pause.

"The market was pricing in less than one rate hike for next year," Bianco said.

And, now the Street needs to come to grips with the Fed's new plan.

The major indexes sold off after the Fed raised rates by a quarter point on Wednesday. The Dow closed at its lowest point since November 2017. The S&P 500 fared worse, closing at its lowest level since September 2017. Futures prices pointed to slight gains Thursday.

The bond market also felt the pressure Wednesday. Treasury yields moved to their lows of the day, with the 10-Year Treasury hitting its lowest level since April.


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Trading Nation is a multimedia financial news program that shows investors and traders how to use the news of the day to their advantage. This is where experts from across the financial world – including macro strategists, technical analysts, stock-pickers, and traders who specialize in options, currencies, and fixed income – come together to find the best ways to capitalize on recent developments in the market. Trading Nation: Where headlines become opportunities.

Michael Santoli

Michael Santoli joined CNBC in October 2015 as a Senior Markets Commentator, based at the network's Global Headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J.  Santoli brings his extensive markets expertise to CNBC's Business Day programming, with a regular appearance on CNBC's “Closing Bell (M-F, 3PM-5PM ET).   In addition, he contributes to CNBCand CNBC PRO, writing regular articles and creating original digital videos.

Previously, Santoli was a Senior Columnist at Yahoo Finance, where he wrote analysis and commentary on the stock market, corporate news and the economy. He also appeared on Yahoo Finance video programs, where he offered insights on the most important business stories of the day, and was a regular contributor to CNBC and other networks.

Follow Michael Santoli on Twitter @michaelsantoli

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