The Fed’s Jerome Powell is expected to update his views on the status of “disinflation” during his Capitol Hill appearance today. At his last press conference, Powell was confident that a “disinflationary process” had begun, yet data regarding February’s prices suggests otherwise. The stock market opened “basically flat” this morning, with investors in “wait-and-see” mode. “Federal Reserve Chairman Powell’s Congressional testimony and the nonfarm payrolls report are the undoubted highlights of the week… The two events will provide the latest update on the immediate past, present, and future of the world’s largest economy and will be crucial in determining market sentiment,” said Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor. Deutsche Bank strategist Alan Ruskin also warns investors not to fully rely on Powell’s testimony, as “Powell does not have crucial data [at] hand to give the market a firm steer before the next FOMC meeting.”

Reuters via Yahoo Finance/Howard Schneider
Fed’s Powell, in Hill appearance, to update views on status of ‘disinflation’

At his last press conference U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said confidently a “disinflationary process” had begun, showing a “gratifying” corner had been turned even as he pledged the central bank’s fight against rising prices was not over.

But inflation data since his Feb. 1 remarks has moved in the other direction – an inflation “surprise” index from Citigroup rose in February for the first time in months – and when Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday the focus will be on whether he remains as confident as he was then that the Fed is on the right path to keep inflation steadily falling towards its 2% target.

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MarketWatch/Andrew Keshner
U.S. stocks flat, awaiting Powell testimony

U.S. stocks opened Tuesday basically flat, hovering in a wait-and-see mode ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s Congressional testimony later in the morning.

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.56% rose 40 points, or 0.12%, to 33431, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.86% increased 3 points, or 0.07%, to 4048, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.93% dropped 13 points, or 0.11%, to 11676.

Markets remain focused on the prospects for U.S. monetary policy and consequently trading was muted ahead of Powell’s testimony to the Senate on Tuesday, due to commence at 10 a.m. Eastern.

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Barron’s/Ben Levisohn
What History Says the Stock Market Will Do After Powell Speaks to Congress

The stock market is waiting for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to begin his testimony to Congress before making a move. The question is what happens next?

Everyone seems to be waiting to see what Powell says about the U.S. economy, the path of rate increases, and even the debt ceiling before making a move. And no wonder—a word from Powell has the ability to send the S&P 500SPX –0.89% soaring or knock it down a peg. Futures on the index, after all, are up just 0.2%.

You can read the full article, here.

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