NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The odds are growing slimmer for a Federal Reserve rate hike next month, and one strategist says the central bank may even refrain from raising rates until next year.
Minutes from the Fed's last policy meeting, which were released Wednesday, reveal that officials are unlikely to raise rates at their June meeting.
Now investors are looking at September for a possible rate hike, but Ian Winer, head of equity trading at Los Angeles-based Wedbush Securities, says the Fed might even hold off until 2016.
"You could argue employment's better, but wage growth -- you're not seeing any of that," Winer said. "As far as inflation, there's just no sight of that either. So what you've seen over the last couple of months are actually weaker economic data points on balance, and so just based on that alone, it doesn't seem like there's any sense of urgency, or needs to be, for the Fed to raise rates, even this year."
The bond market seems to be signaling a rising-rate environment, with yields on the benchmark 10-Year Treasury at 2.21%, vs. 2.12% at the start of the year.
The banking sector could see higher profits on the heels of higher rates. Whenever the Fed lifts its short-term federal funds rate, that's likely to push interest rates higher across the board, allowing financial institutions to charge higher rates on loans.
"I think if there's one name, you go with JPMorgan Chase (JPM)," Winer says. "It's got the best manager on Wall Street, and I think that that's the one you stay with."
Shares of JPMorgan Chase have risen 6.5% since the start of the year. The S&P 500 Financial sector, which includes JPMorgan Chase, along with Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C) and Bank of America (BAC), among others, is up 0.5% year to date.
Meanwhile, when it comes to the rest of the markets, Winer stresses the importance of sticking to familiar names.
"If we've learned anything over earnings season, it's that you know certain stocks if they don't perform up to speed, people are going to get very hurt," he said.
Twitter and LinkedIn saw shares dip double-digits upon reporting disappointing first-quarter earnings in late April.