Have you heard the one about the 3.72-3.84 range? While we haven't seen much of the ceiling this week, the floor is getting a workout. Yesterday afternoon saw 3.72 block a late day rally attempt. Now this morning, it is serving as a springboard for a bounce back up toward the top of the range. Blame can be assigned in some combination to Jobless Claims holding steady, elevated corporate issuance, and Powell's ability to find new ways to say old things.
What exactly did Powell say? Here are a few bullet points:
- FED CHAIR POWELL: A STRONG MAJORITY OF COMMITTEE FEELS THERE IS A LITTLE FUTHER TO GO WITH RATE HIKES (additionally, he mentioned his views aligned with the majority)
- POWELL: HAVEN'T SEEN MUCH PROGRESS IN SERVICE-SECTOR INFLATION
- POWELL: WILL BE APPROPRIATE TO RAISE RATES TWICE MORE THIS YEAR (if economy evolves as expected)
- When asked what "as expected" means, Powell said: "Continued modest growth + continued cooling of labor market + continued cooling of inflation"
In other words, 2 more hikes doesn't require inflation remaining stubbornly high or the economy showing signs of surprisingly resilient growth. The Fed is actually expecting the labor market and inflation to cool while growth remains only "modest."