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Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

In a widely expected move, the Federal Reserve voted unanimously on Wednesday to raise interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point.

The big picture: The prospect of this rate increase was well-priced into the stock market. The Fed signaled more gradual hikes, alongside a statement that reiterates a hot economy with a strong labor market, inflation near its 2% target and solid consumer spending.

The details: There was a major word missing in the Fed's policy statement: "accommodative." Market-watchers usually take this to mean the Fed is moving towards a neutral rate, which doesn't speed up or slow down economic growth. There are still questions about what "neutral" looks like.

  • Powell discouraged market-watchers from looking too much into the removal of "accommodative," but they did anyway.
  • He was optimistic about the economy, but said it "hasn't been perfect" and did not rule out possible headwinds in the future.

Powell largely downplayed potential risks from the trade war and said it's hard to see any impact of the tariffs in the economy. "Until we see it in the numbers, it's hard to say what we would do," he said.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest details.

Go deeper

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.

Virginia lawmakers vote to legalize marijuana in 2024

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam. Photo: Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Lawmakers in Virginia on Saturday approved compromise legislation that would legalize marijuana in 2024, putting the state a step closer to becoming the first in the South to end prohibition on the drug, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.

Why it matters: The legislation will make Virginia the 16th state to legalize marijuana, per Politico. It would add to a slate of laws that have seen Virginia move in a more progressive direction during the tenure of Gov. Ralph Northam.

Scammers seize on COVID confusion

Data: FTC; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Scamming has skyrocketed in the past year, and much of the increase is attributed to COVID-related scams, more recently around vaccines.

Why it matters: The pandemic has created a prime opportunity for scammers to target people who are already confused about the chaotic rollouts of things like stimulus payments, loans, contact tracing and vaccines. Data shows that older people who aren't digitally literate are the most vulnerable.