May 22, 2019

Fed: No plans to raise rates even if economy improves

Fed chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a press conference in May. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The Federal Reserve plans to remain "patient" in determining future moves in interest rates, even if "global economic and financial conditions continued to improve," according to minutes released Wednesday of the Fed's most recent meeting. They did not raise or lower interest rates at that meeting, despite pressure from President Trump to lower them.

Why it matters: The U.S. economy has been humming along — with solid job gains, low unemployment and receding "uncertainties affecting the U.S. and global economic outlooks," per the meeting minutes — but the market is still betting that the central bank will move to cut rates before the end of the year, not raise them. The bets have grown with low inflation readings below the Fed's 2% target. But Fed officials noted "muted inflation pressures" as one of the reasons a patient approach will be appropriate "for some time."

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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.

Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market

Data: Yahoo Finance; Chart: Axios

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 3% on Friday after a stronger-than-expected May jobs report showed that an economic recovery could be underway.

The state of play: Stocks have rallied since the worst of the coronavirus sell-off ended in late March and looked past a spate of ugly economic reports — not to mention civil unrest.