Minutes from the Federal Reserve, to be released Wednesday afternoon, could shed light on whether the central bank plans to hike interest rates at its June meeting, a move that would come after it announced a rate increase in December, the first time in nearly a decade.
The specter of a rate rise does not bring positive news for the market, TheStreet's founder Jim Cramer said.
"You need to have an adult in the Fed come out," said Cramer, "and say, 'This digital economy is really changing what we can do with inflation to bring prices down. The only real wage inflation is mandated by the government, we can't change that with rates.'"
Cramer pointed specifically to the energy and housing industries as ones that could be hurt by a rise in interest rates. "The energy producers that are at the margin will fold," Cramer said, also adding a rate increase would make it less likely for people to leave rental apartments for purchased homes.
"So we're setting ourselves up for a worst of all possible worlds. where if [the Fed] raise rates they economy will slow and we will have a repeat of December to Feb. 10," Cramer said, referring to the market stock markets decline from the last half of December through early February. "I mean, that's OK. That's what should happen. If the Fed people understand their words may not be correct, [the repeat] won't happen."
The June meeting is scheduled to take place June 14 and 15. The most recent meeting was April 26-27. In a statement released after the meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee said it expected "economic activity will expand at a moderate pace and labor market indicators will continue to strengthen."