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The Whole Market Is Looking Like a Really Big Oil Trade

Pumpjacks located in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Midland, Texas, U.S. 

Pumpjacks located in the middle of a residential neighborhood in Midland, Texas, U.S. 

Photographer: Jordan Vonderhaar/Bloomberg

At the recent Federal Reserve meeting, when the central bank opted to hike rates by 75 basis points, Chairman Jay Powell pointed out that they’re not really interested anymore in making a distinction between headline and core inflation. 

In theory, central banks look at core measures because they’re less volatile and there’s a recognition that the price of some commodities are largely outside of the domain of monetary policy. But these aren’t normal times. And for consumers, it’s not much comfort if core measures are cooling but gasoline prices remain very high.