Record Week

Markets have a July rate cut from the Federal Reserve as the base case following Chair Jerome Powell’s two-day testimony to Congress. Two regional Fed governors are pushing back, with Atlanta’s Raphael Bostic and Richmond’s Thomas Barkin disputing the need for stimulus right now. Each of them cited the Dallas Fed’s measure of inflation which has come in close to 2% in recent months. As neither of them are voting on the FOMC this year, their arguments could well get lost as Powell gets on with being the world’s central banker. (Bloomberg)

Shares of pharmacy benefit managers and other healthcare players soared on Thursday in reaction to the administration’s reversal of its proposed overhaul of rebates collected by the drug middlemen. At this juncture, the administration is moving forward with its plan to tie Medicare reimbursement for drugs to the lowest prices paid elsewhere. The news came days after a federal judge dealt a blow to the White House by striking down a rule that would have forced pharmaceutical companies to disclose the list price of their drugs in TV ads. (SA)

Crude prices are headed for their biggest weekly gain in three as simmering Middle East tensions, shrinking U.S. crude inventories and Tropical Storm Barry in the Gulf of Mexico threaten the supply outlook. Despite the developments and recent rollover of an OPEC-led output cut, the IEA is forecasting another oil glut in 2020. “This surplus adds to the huge stock builds seen in the second half of 2018,” the agency declared, adding that “market tightness is not an issue for the time being” but predicting growth of 1.4M barrels per day next year (from 1.2M bpd in 2019). (WSJ)