Fed chairman says U.S. economy healthy, hints at slower rate hikes

Fed chairman says U.S. economy healthy, hints at slower rate hikes

Fed chairman says U.S. economy healthy, hints at slower rate hikes

Personal Income also came in higher than expected at 0.5%.

Finally, "A couple of participants noted that the federal funds rate might now be near its neutral level and that further increases in the federal funds rate could unduly slow the expansion of economic activity", the minutes said.

The upcoming interest rate decision-which will come December 19- will serve as a big signal for both the Fed's conviction for continued economic growth as well as the equity market's resilience to yet another hike.

"It's certainly a change of language and welcome news to investors", said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago. Powell sent the stock market surging last week when he signaled that the Fed may decide to slow the pace of rate hikes next year.

In the closing days of November, one-month contracts on 10-year notes are now up about 1.5 percent and testing old levels at $119 while 30-year futures are up more than 2 percent from recent lows, bumping against $140.

The S&P 500 index rose 10 points, or 0.4 percent, to 2,692.

Tensions over trade, the turbulent Brexit discussions and trouble in China and emerging markets could rock a USA financial system where asset prices are "elevated" and business credit quality may be "deteriorating", the Federal Reserve said in a first-ever report devoted to financial stability.

Despite Trump's tough remarks on the trade dispute ahead of Saturday's meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, markets focused on comments by White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who indicated the two countries could call a truce.

Powell's speech was focused largely on a new Fed report on stability of the United States financial system, but contained an unusual comment: "By clearly and transparently explaining our policies, we aim to strengthen the foundation of democratic legitimacy that enables the Fed to serve the needs of the American public".

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose 1.4 percent.

Alberta to reduce oil production in 2019 to increase prices
The province also expects a deal in the works to purchase its own railcars to transport oil will help with the backlog next year. Cenovus Energy proposed the idea of a production cut last month.

Elsewhere, the pound held gains after reversing losses sparked by the Bank of England's warning that a no-deal Brexit could spark a recession.

And he said the financial system was now "substantially more resilient" than it was before the 2008 financial crisis.

"Our job is not to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst", BoE Governor Mark Carney said.

But ever since the stock market has stumbled in recent months and the economy has shown some signs of strain, as the source of America's economic ills.

"By clearly and transparently explaining our policies, we aim to strengthen the foundation of democratic legitimacy that enables the Fed to serve the needs of the American public".

Bond yields were at their lowest levels since early May.

The U.S. two-year Treasury yield extended a modest decline from the previous day following Powell's comments.

The S&P 500 Index gained for a third straight day, led by health care equipment makers and software firms.

Powell said the Fed is paying "very close" attention to economic data even as it expects continued "solid" growth, low unemployment and inflation near its 2-percent target.

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