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Expand chart
Data: Federal Reserve; Chart: Axios Visuals

Minutes from the Fed's July policy meeting were released Wednesday and policymakers' dour outlook suggests that more easing and stimulus could be on the way, strategists who closely watch the central bank say.

Why it matters: More liquidity from the Fed could mean more gains for stock and bond prices and further erosion of the dollar.

The backdrop: The Fed has tapered off its quantitative easing bond-buying program and additions to its balance sheet in recent months as credit markets have smoothed and the S&P 500 has risen back to record highs.

  • But worries about a languishing economy, a lack of action from Congress and rising long-dated bond yields could spur action.

What they said: "Noting the increase in uncertainty about the economic outlook over the intermeeting period, several participants suggested that additional accommodation could be required," the minutes noted.

  • The Fed's staff also warned "that a more pessimistic projection was no less plausible than the baseline forecast."

Between the lines: Analysts at TD Securities said they "continue to expect the Fed to ease in September."

  • "The Fed's failure to pre-commit left markets disappointed today, but we don't think easing has been ruled out."
  • "We believe that forward guidance will be strengthened and QE purchases will occur in the long end."

Go deeper

Mnuchin's plan to shift unspent Fed funds

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A move by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin could handcuff his likely successor Janet Yellen's ability to immediately restart Fed economic programs.

Driving the news: Mnuchin is planning to shift $455 billion in unspent CARES Act funds into a special account that would require Congress' permission to access, Bloomberg reports.

U.S. economy added 379,000 jobs in February

Data: FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

The economy added 379,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate dropped from 6.3% to 6.2%, the Labor Department said on Friday.

Why it matters: The first Biden-era jobs report shows hiring surged as coronavirus cases eased — though a full recovery remains far off. Economists expected the economy to add roughly 182,000 jobs last month, after adding a paltry 49,000 in January.

This story is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

Workers are getting a really bad deal

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week's spate of data highlighted the difficulties Americans who have lost their jobs have had bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic, and just how much those who have managed to keep their jobs have been working.

What's happening: The Labor Department reported Thursday that the productivity of American workers fell by a revised 4.2% annual rate in the fourth quarter, the largest decline in 39 years.