Investors in the American financial markets don't really buy the Federal Reserve's determination.

As expected, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.25 percentage points, bringing them into the range between 4.5 and 4.75 percent.

At the same time, however, Fed Chair Jerome Powell emphasized that he and his colleagues believe that further rate hikes are necessary and appropriate and that he would rather tighten too much than loosen monetary policy too soon.

Such comments have in the past pushed the major stock indexes down.

But this Wednesday, the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 2 percent by close, the Standard & Poor's was up 1 percent, the broad Russell 2000 was up 1.5 percent and the Dow Jones Index held steady.

The reason probably lies with the Fed itself: in December it had forecast that in 2023 one small or at most two rate hikes would be necessary and appropriate.

That should suddenly be obsolete.

The markets believe that there may be another small rate hike or none at all.

You have to find out who will be right.

The American labor market could provide an explanation, but it is sending conflicting signals.

On the one hand, labor costs aren't increasing as much anymore, suggesting it's not running as hot as it used to.

On the other hand, the number of vacancies has increased again recently, so that there are now almost two vacancies for every job seeker.

Does that mean wages will go up again because employers can't find staff any other way?

That would boost prices.

Or will the millions of able-bodied workers return who have settled comfortably outside of the labor market or have remained marginalized for other reasons?

While Powell is noticing a fall in prices for goods, he has not yet noticed any deflationary tendencies in the service sector.

The sector is particularly labour-intensive and may therefore be forced to push through higher prices due to higher wages.

This apparently leads him to conclude that the fight against inflation is not over yet.

The markets see things a little differently.