According to Powell, 1.5%-1.75% is “likely to remain appropriate” for what the Fed expects to happen to the economy — specifically moderate economic growth, a strong labor market an inflation rate of ~2%. Powell also advised that if any of those indicators significantly change, the rate would likely change accordingly.
Consequently, traders welcomed the news, and Wall Street closed at a new all-time high. The S&P 500 index increased by 10 points, or 0.3%, to 2,046, which is a new record closing high. Meanwhile the Dow Jones industrial average almost hit its own record high too; it gained 116 points, or 0.4%, to reach 27,188.
“The Fed pretty much signaled they are in pause mode and will wait to see if we continue to see positive developments with the US-China trade war. The outlook on the economy was upbeat and this was unnecessary as they have given many hawkish hints that they could be closer to bending back toward rate increases. Inflation is anchored, albeit somewhat firmer recently, but nowhere near running the risk of running hot,” said Edward Moya, of top trading firm OANDA. “Powell delivered a hawkish cut that has pretty much locked the Fed into keeping the rates on hold in December and possibly into the spring, despite huge geopolitical risks from the trade war and Brexit. A lot could go wrong in a moment’s notice and this may go down as huge policy mistake.”
Regional Presidents Esther George of Kansas City and Eric Rosengren of Boston, voted against the reduction (as they did during the previous cut), with both taking on the opinion that the committee should have kept the rate at its former figure.
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