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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump is attacking the Fed and picking trade fights with a China that faces slowing economic growth, the EU is a political and economic mess, and Japan is near another recession, if it's not already in one.

The big picture: The Fed is the only central bank that could realistically help the stock market. The market goes up (like on November 28) and goes down (like on Wednesday) according to its optimism or pessimism about whether the Fed will stop raising rates.

Global central banks mostly can't come to the rescue.

  • The European Central Bank has negative interest rates, and says it's going to tighten next year. Same for Japan.

The bottom line: A U.S. recession isn't imminent, but with all the bad news around the world, it's hard to see why U.S. stocks should be moving higher. The only bid in the market comes from whatever hope remains that Powell will ride in on a white horse to save the day. After all, that's what the Fed has generally done in the past.

Go deeper

38 mins ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.