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Fed's Appetite for Inflation May Be Changing

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses members and guests of the National Italian American foundation Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006 in New York. Bernanke said Tuesday that risks from inflation or a worse-than-expected housing slump could further complicate things for an economy already in slowdown mode. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addresses members and guests of the National Italian American foundation Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2006 in New York. Bernanke said Tuesday that risks from inflation or a worse-than-expected housing slump could further complicate things for an economy already in slowdown mode. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Edgar Peters, chief investment officer for PanAgora Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Morning Call” that the Federal Reserve now believes it can tolerate inflation as long as there is economic growth.

“They’re gambling on a soft landing, something the Fed has been able to engineer only once in its entire history,” Peters said Thursday.

“With full employment the way it is, and the fact that core inflation is roughly where it was two years ago and the fact that they’re not considering any tightening -- just staying on hold at this point -- shows that they’re more concerned about economic growth than they are about inflation," he said. "If that’s the case, that would have severe implications for the bond market.”

In such a scenario, Peters said bond yields would rise and that would affect equity valuations that are “quite nice” now because the long-bond yield is low.

Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates, said the market rallied Wednesday because investors were relived that the Federal Reserve didn’t raise interest rates.

“I would use the rally in financials to take profits and move somewhere else,” he said.

Kumar said he liked information technology, consumer staples and pharmacology.