Updated Sep 27, 2018

Fed hikes interest rates amid booming economy

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.

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 52 mins ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow3 hours ago - World