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AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

In her opening remarks during her first testimony before the 115th Congress, Janet Yellen talked up the U.S. economy, and suggested that the Fed would raise interest rates several times this year. Yellen said:

  • After adding 16 million jobs since 2010, the American economy's 4.9% unemployment rate has returned to a "normal" level.
  • Investment by businesses remains depressed, which has helped lead to mediocre GDP growth
  • Low, but rising, inflation means that the Fed will soon move to raise interest rates again
  • Fed policy is fluid — if the economy suffers a downturn, Yellen stands ready to act.

Stocks fell on Yellen's testimony, as higher interest rates lead to cheaper stocks as investors demand higher returns to compete with higher interest rates. The dollar, on the other hand, rose, as higher interest rates in the U.S. will attract more investment.

Go deeper

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris sat down with CNN on Thursday for their first joint interview since the election.

The big picture: In the hour-long segment, the twosome laid out plans for responding to the pandemic, jump-starting the economy and managing the transition of power, among other priorities.

The quick FCC fix that would get more students online

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As the pandemic forces students out of school, broadband deployment programs aren't going to move fast enough to help families in immediate need of better internet access. But Democrats at the Federal Communications Commission say the incoming Biden administration could put a dent in that digital divide with one fast policy change.

State of play: An existing FCC program known as E-rate provides up to $4 billion for broadband at schools, but Republican FCC chairman Ajit Pai has resisted modifying the program during the pandemic to provide help connecting students at home.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
4 mins ago - Politics & Policy

America's hidden depression

Biden introduces his pick for Treasury secretary, Janet Yellen, on Dec. 1. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Biden faces a fragile recovery that could easily fall apart, as the economy remains in worse shape than most people think.

Why it matters: There is a recovery happening. But it's helping some people immensely and others not at all. And it's that second part that poses a massive risk to the Biden-Harris administration's chance of success.