Jan 31, 2019

1. Jerome Powell finally gets a ringing endorsement

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Data: Bespoke Investment Group; Chart: Chris Canipe/Axios

Jerome Powell finally got the markets on his side. The S&P 500 fell after each of his first seven FOMC meetings as chairman (by far the longest on record), but the market jolted higher on Wednesday.

One big quote: "The big pivot in FOMC communication was not just the introduction of the word ‘patient,’ but also the removal of forward guidance explicitly signaling that the next change [will be a rate increase]," said Ian Lyngen, head of U.S. rates strategy at BMO Capital Markets.

  • "This is all the more remarkable given that back in December, 15 FOMC members anticipated one or more hikes to be prudent in 2019. There certainly has been a change of heart in DC."

Bank of America-Merrill Lynch called it the "Dove Show."

Between the lines: Whether Wednesday was, in fact, a good day depended on who you asked and what they buy.

  • Dollar bulls got punched in the mouth, with the dollar index falling to its lowest in three weeks.
  • Bond traders saw opportunity, as the Treasury yield curve steepened with investors buying shorter-dated bonds. Fed fund futures show the market is pricing in no more rate hikes this year and almost the same likelihood of a rate cut as a rate hike by December.
  • Stock traders were giddy. The Dow jumped more than 400 points (Dow 25K!!!) and the Nasdaq gained 2.17%.

What's next? Scott Minerd, global chief investment officer at Guggenheim Partners, said the Fed’s pause will allow excesses to continue to build and increase the risks of financial instability. But that's a good thing if you like to party.

  • "The Fed refilled the punch bowl and the party goes on," Minerd told Reuters. "Buy risk assets."

Go deeper: Jerome Powell's attempts to please everyone have backfired

Go deeper

In photos: Protests over George Floyd's death grip Minneapolis

The Third Police Precinct burns in Minneapolis on Thursday night. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Demonstrators demanding justice burned a Minneapolis police station and took control of the streets around it last night, heaving wood onto the flames, kicking down poles with surveillance cameras and torching surrounding stores.

What's happening: The crowd was protesting the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man whose life was snuffed out Tuesday by a white Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on his neck for about eight minutes.

Minneapolis mayor to Trump: “Weakness is pointing your finger” during a crisis

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey fired back at President Trump on Friday, after the president accused the mayor of weak leadership amid violence sparked by the killing of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Driving the news: Trump made his accusations in a pair of tweets early Friday, saying he would bring the national guard into Minneapolis if Frey couldn't “bring the City under control.” 

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 5,844,499 — Total deaths: 361,066 — Total recoveries — 2,439,310Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,721,926 — Total deaths: 101,621 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a coronavirus vaccine once we have one.
  4. Business: Many poor and minority families can't afford food or rent.
  5. 2020: Trump courts Asian American vote amid coronavirus — The RNC issued proposed safety guidelines for its planned convention in Charlotte.
  6. ⚽️ Sports: European soccer's push to return.
  7. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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