Weekly Market Update
FEDERAL RESERVE LOOKS AHEAD TO ADDITIONAL GRADUAL INTEREST RATE HIKES
Thursday, July 12, 2018
At their meeting last month, Federal Reserve officials discussed the impact of further hikes in interest rates. The minutes released last Thursday, which covers the June 12-13 meeting, left the impression that the officials had confidence in the U.S. economy's strength and in its plans to continue raising rates, but also raised concerns that tariffs and trade restrictions could divert the economy from its upward trajectory. The minutes covered discussions at which the central bank boosted its key rate, for a second time this year, to a new range of 1.75%-2.00%. The Fed officials also noted heightened concerns from businesses about President Trump's trade policies, and that some executives have scaled back future spending plans in response.
In Other News
- Duke University and Microsoft have announced a collaboration to create an "innovation hub" in downtown Durham's Chesterfield building, focused on cloud-based machine learning applications and research.
- Brown University has released a plan that shows how the school can improve Rhode Island's technology economy. The university published the "Brown and the Innovation Economy" report Monday. The report outlines goals that include developing and retaining talent, engaging with local industry, increasing commercialization of university research and improving the environment for entrepreneurs.
- Purchase College is constructing a senior housing community on its campus in response to the growing number of retirees interested in living close to a university. The 385-unit retirement community, dubbed "Broadview" will be funded with $14.5 million in unrated tax-exempt notes.
- Capella University received approval Monday from its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, to merge its parent company, Capella Education Company, with Strayer Education Inc. The merged entity will continue to operate both for-profit universities independently and expects to have approximately 80,000 students.
- Temple University announced on Monday that its business school had submitted false data for U.S. News rankings. The university stated that Moshe Porat, the school's dean, had dismantled the internal system for verifying the accuracy of data being submitted for rankings. Porat was asked to resign.
- The Northern California city of Lakeport will use bond financing to fund a series of solar projects to make the city more energy efficient.
- The technology platform and curriculum of the company UniversityNow has been sold to the nonprofit National University system, which plans to use the platform to deliver its online courses.
Rating Agency Update
- Moody's assigned A1 to University of Akron's Series 2018A General Receipts Bonds and Series 2018B Taxable General Receipts Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- Moody's affirmed Jackson College's Aa2 rating. The outlook is stable.
- Moody's affirmed Truman State University's A1 rating. The outlook is revised from stable to negative.
- Moody's assigned A1 and S&P assigned A+ to Brandeis University's Series 2018R Revenue bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned AA to Michigan State University's Series 2018 General Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P assigned BBB to the University of New Haven's Series K-3 Revenue Bonds. The outlook is stable.
- S&P affirmed University of Southern California's AA rating. The outlook is stable.
- S&P lowered Vassar College's rating from AA- to A+. The outlook is stable.