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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

3 hours ago - World

Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

Conspiracy theories blow back on Trump's White House

Sidney Powell. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

President Trump has rarely met a conspiracy theory he doesn't like, but he and other Republicans now worry the wild tales told by lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood may cost them in Georgia's Senate special elections.

Why it matters: The two are telling Georgians not to vote for Republicans David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler because of a bizarre, baseless and potentially self-defeating theory: It's not worth voting because the Chinese Communist Party has rigged the voting machines.