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* Powell says recent U.S. government shutdown expected to have had only “fairly modest” impact on economy and that would “largely unwind” in next several months. * Fed sees some signs of stronger wage growth, expects inflation to run close to its 2 percent target after transitory effects of recent energy price declines abate. * Powell says Fed now in position to evaluate “appropriate timing and approach” for the end of its balance sheet runoff. STOCKS: S&P 500 turns slightly higher after strong February U.S cufflink engraving. consumer confidence data, last up 0.06 percent..
BONDS: U.S. Treasury yields firm; 2s at 2.4980 pct; 10s at 2.6572 pct. FOREX: The U.S cufflink engraving. dollar index little changed, off 0.05 percent. JACK ABLIN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CRESSET CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, CHICAGO. “He is saying sort of what we have been reading – conflicting signals. If you have a positive consumer you should have a positive economy and that may be reinforced by the confidence number that assuaged a lot of investor concerns. “It seems like he is just reiterating that message and as long as we have steady growth with no inflation that should keep the Fed at bay. This notion the Fed has been probably trying to shift itself away from trying to rearm itself with ammunition to fight the next downturn, that was really the one big change in Fed strategy which is now obviously embraced by investors.”..
KEITH LERNER, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, SUNTRUST ADVISORY SERVICES, ATLANTA. “The big takeaway is he’s reaffirming the patient approach. The Fed is not rushing to increase rates here cufflink engraving. The U.S. economy seems fine, though they did see some weakness specifically on the global economy. They’re watching the financial markets.”. “The way the market received the message last time is consistent with his current view. There has been volatility around his past testimony, and this gave him another time to restate his message.”..
JON HILL, INTEREST RATE STRATEGIST, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK (via email). “As Powell’s testimony gets underway, his comments at first glance appear to reiterate the characterization of the economy that he presented following the January FOMC. This makes intuitive sense, given ongoing mixed signals from the economic data and persistent downside risks globally, but largely does not represent new information for the market. The description of the economy as solid but slowing is consistent with short rates approaching, if not at, neutral cufflink engraving. That being said, any Q&A certainly could still spark price action as 5s/30s has steepened to a 12-month high.”..
ERIK NELSON, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO SECURITIES, NEW YORK cufflink engraving. “I am not seeing a lot of new in Powell’s comments. They were pretty much as advertised and pretty much what we saw back in January and we’re seeing limited reaction in the FX market, which is I think consistent with that. Powell wasn’t more dovish than what we saw in January, but he’s certainly less hawkish than he was last year. The thing is, the market has already priced in this seismic shift from the Fed toward a more neutral or more data-dependent stance.”..