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Expand chart
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 D.C."

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

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

The U.S. coronavirus vaccines aren't all the same

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The U.S. now has three COVID-19 vaccines, and public health officials are quick — and careful — to say there’s no bad option. But their effectiveness, manufacturing and distribution vary.

Why it matters: Any of the authorized vaccines are much better than no vaccine, especially for people at high risk of severe coronavirus infections. But their differences may fuel perceptions of inequity, and raise legitimate questions about the best way to use each one.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The future of workplace benefits

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The pandemic exposed how workplaces across America are inhospitable to parents. But it could also spur companies to make changes.

The big picture: Well over a million parents have left their jobs due to child care responsibilities during the pandemic. Now, companies — large and small — are attempting to reimagine workplace benefits and add flexibility to help those parents come back.