Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said on Thursday that the U.S. economy "is solid," adding that he doesn't predict a recession in 2019, the Washington Post reports.

Our thought bubble, from Axios' Dion Rabouin: The message from Powell was clear — the first half of 2019 is off the table for interest rate hikes. If Powell's comments earlier this month that the Federal Reserve would be "patient" with future interest rate hikes and stand ready to change course "significantly if necessary" weren't clear enough, he slammed the table to let markets know that the "Powell put" is very much in play. If stocks start sliding again, the Fed is ready to cut rates.

Go deeper: Jerome Powell's rough road of criticism from Trump

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2 hours ago - World

Macron visits Beirut promising a "new political pact" for Lebanon

Macron visits the hard-hit Gemmayzeh neighborhood. Photo: AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron walked through the blast-damaged streets of Beirut on Thursday, swarmed by people chanting for the fall of Lebanon's government and pleading for international aid.

Why it matters: Lebanon is at a breaking point. Its economy was collapsing and its government hardly functioning — all before a massive explosion destroyed swathes of the capital city, including its vital port.

2 hours ago - Sports

The PGA Championship is golf's first major in over a year

Photo: Gary Kellner/PGA of America via Getty Images

The 2020 PGA Championship tees off Thursday at San Francisco's TPC Harding Park, which is hosting its first-ever major.

Why it matters: It's the first major in more than a year — and the first of seven majors in the next 12 months. Though there won't be any fans in attendance, the excitement is palpable.

July's jobs report could be an inflection point for the coronavirus recovery

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Even if Friday's jobs report shows a big number, it is becoming clear hiring slowed and likely even reversed course in July and real-time indicators suggest the employment situation worsened into August.

Driving the news: Payroll processor ADP's monthly jobs report showed private companies added 167,000 jobs last month, well below the 1.2 million expected by economists and far below June's 4.8 million jobs added.