What Powell’s Interest Rate Comments Mean for the Markets

Jerome Powell’s testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee threw markets into sell-off mode on Tuesday as investors digested the possibility of interest rates going higher than previously anticipated in order for the Federal Reserve to get inflation under control.

Tuesday was a wake-up call for the markets as Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell indicated that the Fed may have to raise rates higher than previously expected to battle inflation

DON’T MISS: Forget The Fed: Stocks Are Vulnerable Even If Jerome Powell Slays Inflation Beast

Powell, speaking in front of the Senate Banking Committee warned that the terminal rate may be higher than previously expected. His Tuesday testimony did increase the odds of a 50 basis point hike at the March meeting, which takes place in a few weeks, according to CME’s FedWatch tool. 

Powell will once again travel to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to provide testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee. 

“If Fed Chair Jerome Powell had set out on Tuesday morning, with an idea to reset forward-looking market expectations in regard to the trajectory of monetary policy, then ‘Mission Accomplished.’ It had become common knowledge that US bond and equity markets had diverged on what exactly had become ‘priced in,” wrote Real Money’s Stephen Guilfoyle in his Market Recon Wednesday morning.

“Powell in no uncertain terms, let the public know that while neither may have been exactly correct on the central bank’s current thinking on the matter, that the bond market had been closer,” he continued. “Perhaps much closer to where the Fed is now headed. At least that is since the bulk of the macroeconomic data for the month of January started hitting the tape about a month ago.” 

Outside of the Fed and the general markets, there’s Occidental.

The company was getting a boost after Berkshire Hathaway added to its stake. Warren Buffett’s company has amassed an already large stake in the company. 

Roughly 5.8 million shares were purchased throughout late last week into early this week.

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