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Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Minutes from the Federal Reserve's December policy meeting back the trend of continued retreat from tightening monetary policy highlighted yesterday. The minutes did suggest the Fed's policymakers are split between two camps, but those appear to be Dovish and More Dovish.

Details: The minutes showed FOMC members largely agreed that the balance sheet rundown is likely to end in the second half of 2019. Nearly all top officials at the meeting agreed that the central bank should announce "before too long" details of a new plan to stop reducing the balance sheet later this year.

What they're saying: The FOMC meeting minutes included 13 mentions of the word "patient," and according to the minutes, there were a "variety of considerations that supported a patient approach," Yahoo Finance's Heidi Chung notes.

  • Furthermore, "a patient posture would allow time for a clearer picture of the international trade policy situation and the state of the global economy to emerge and, in particular, could allow policymakers to reach a firmer judgment about the extent and persistence of the economic slowdown in Europe and China."

What they're not saying: "The question is still whether to hike or not — we have yet to arrive at the 'when or how much to cut' stage of the cycle," BMO Capital Markets' rate strategist Ian Lyngen said in a note to clients.

  • Lyngen also points out that the word "recession" has been completely absent from the last three minutes, despite the fact that live tracking of the Cleveland and New York Fed's models put the probability of a contraction in the next 12 months between 25% to 30%, near post crisis highs.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring hazards ranging from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow, to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Contact tracing fizzles across America — New clues emerge on long COVID — Omicron is finally burning out — It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: Virginia AG says public colleges can't mandate COVID vaccines —Alaska governor joins Texas lawsuit over National Guard vaccine mandate — Navy discharges 45 sailors for refusing vaccine — Spotify to remove Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum — White House: 60M households have ordered free COVID-19 rapid tests.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker
6 hours ago - World

Biden will move U.S. troops to Eastern Europe "in the near term"

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Jan. 28. Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said on Friday he plans to move U.S. troops to Eastern European and NATO countries “in the near term.”

Driving the news: “Not too many” U.S. troops, Biden added in remarks to reporters at Joint Base Andrew upon returning from a trip to Pennsylvania.