Jul 10, 2019

S&P 500 hits 3,000 for the first time after Fed signals rate cuts

Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The S&P 500 jumped above 3,000 on Wednesday after Fed Chair Jay Powell signaled an imminent interest rate cut later this month.

Our thought bubble, per Axios' Felix Salmon: We live in a world where the Dow Jones Industrial Average can rise or fall 1,000 points in one day. The S&P 500 is not only a much more useful index, it also hits round-number milestones like this one much less frequently.

Go deeper: The case for a Fed rate cut

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A Fed fight may be brewing over interest rate cuts

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks to an aide. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

The market got the signal loud and clear from Fed Chair Jerome Powell yesterday — an interest rate cut is coming in July — but that rate cut may push forward tensions within the central bank.

What's happening: At June's meeting, the Fed delivered the first non-unanimous rate decision of Powell's tenure, and judging by the minutes of the FOMC meeting released Wednesday, there is disagreement among members about whether a cut next month is warranted.

Go deeperArrowJul 11, 2019

Jay Powell's constraints

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Jay Powell did his best impression this week of a Fed chair making his own data-driven decisions about where he should set short-term interest rates. The reality, however, is that the markets and the president are giving him very little choice.

Driving the news: Powell cut interest rates on Wednesday — the first time the Fed has done so in over a decade. In doing so, he effectively fulfilled a prophecy that the fixed-income markets (and even the stock market) had been making for all of 2019. They saw the rate cut coming long before the Fed was willing to admit it, and they were right all along.

Go deeperArrowAug 4, 2019

Trump ups the ante on his Fed feud

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Just as the Fed seems poised to announce the first interest rate cut since the financial crisis, President Trump took his feud with the central bank one step further, saying it "has made all the wrong moves."

Why it matters: In previous administrations, it would have been unthinkable for the president to publicly lobby for a rate cut, which Trump says will goose the economy. And even though Trump may have unintentionally gotten everything he's wanted from the Fed so far, he is pushing for even more. On Monday, he tweeted: "A small rate cut is not enough, but we will win anyway!"

Go deeperArrowJul 29, 2019