Fed chair Jerome Powell speaks at the Economic Club of Washington earlier this month. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

As expected, the Federal Reserve announced on Wednesday that it would not raise interest rates, but policymakers changed the closely watched policy statement to reflect that the central bank is in "wait-and-see" mode as it considers future rate hikes.

Between the lines: The Fed has adopted a more dovish stance in recent months — amid market volatility, shaken confidence in the global economy and criticism from President Trump. In the policy statement, officials removed language that "some further gradual [rate] increases" were coming and added that it would be "patient" in determining rate adjustments.

The Fed also signaled more flexibility in its plans for shrinking its multitrillion-dollar balance sheet. In a statement, officials said the Fed is "prepared to adjust any of the details for completing balance sheet normalization in light of economic and financial developments."

  • Late last year, Trump tweeted that the Fed should "stop with the 50 B's," referring to the $50 billion maximum the Fed can shrink the balance sheet per month.

Go deeper: Jerome Powell's obsession with inflation and economic growth

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Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.