UPDATE: The FOMC, Markets and Cinco deMayo

By Staff Reporters

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FOMC: The Federal Reserve approved a rare half-percentage-point interest rate increase and announced plans to shrink its $9 trillion asset portfolio starting next month in an effort to reduce inflation that is running at a four-decade high.

Markets: Stocks boomed after Fed Chair Jerome Powell spoke. Still, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon pegged the probability of a recession at 33% and a “soft landing” (lower inflation, no recession) also at 33%.

And Lyft, the ride-hailing company lost nearly 30% of its value after its profit outlook came in below forecast. Uber tried to distance itself from its ailing rival, saying that it does not need to spend money recruiting drivers like Lyft does.

Cinco deMayo commemorates the defeat of French forces by the Mexican army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, but its popularity jumped in the 1980s, when beer companies leveraged it in aggressive marketing campaigns. Now, Cinco de Mayo is a day for celebrating Mexican culture and, interestingly, it’s now more popular in the US than in Mexico.

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UPDATE: The Markets, Federal Reserve and Omicron

By Staff Reporters

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Markets: Stocks were in the green yesterday until Fed Chair Jerome Powell explained that the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee was planning to start hiking interest rates in March to combat soaring inflation. Then, they tanked and Treasury yields rose sharply higher. Microsoft still had a solid day after its superb earnings report offered bullish signs for the entire software industry. But, stock markets in Asia tumbled to their lowest in nearly 15 months after America’s central bank chief confirmed widely expected plans to tackle higher inflation with an increase in interest rates this year, beginning in March. And finally, Cryptos got crushed, again!

FOMC: “With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” said Chairman Powell.

Omicron: The Food and Drug Administration pulled its authorization of two of the most-used monoclonal antibodies to treat COVID-19 this week, leaving doctors with fewer options to help their patients avoid the hospital. Related: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/different-vaccines.html?s_cid=11305:%2BModerna%20%2B%20%2Bcovid%20%2Bvaccine:sem.b:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY21

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UPDATE: Stock Markets, the Economy and Pandemic

By Staff Reporters

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  • Stock Markets: US stocks staged a big afternoon comeback for the second day in a row … but still not big enough to close in the green. American Express was the top performer in both the S&P and the Dow after the company reported its highest billings volume ever in Q4. And, enthusiasm over meme stocks more broadly appears to be dwindling along with cryptos. And, while NASDAQ took a hit, Microsoft reported quarterly sales of more than $50 billion for the first time ever.
  • Economy: The weight of the financial world is on Jerome Powell’s shoulders today. The Federal Reserve chair will provide an update on the central bank’s views on sky-high inflation and its plan for interest rate hikes this year (though none are expected until March).
  • Pandemic: Pfizer and BioNTech started clinical trials for an Omicron-specific vaccine yesterday. The results will help the pharma partners decide whether to replace their current jab formula with one that targets the most dominant Covid variant. The new vaccine is being tested both as a three-shot series for un-vaccinated participants and as a booster for the already vaccinated.
  • CITE: https://www.r2library.com/Resource/Title/082610254

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UPDATE: Stock Market and Retail Banks

BY STAFF REPORTERS

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Stock Markets: Stocks ticked higher as investors zeroed in on Senate testimony from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who is up for a second term. Powell said the Fed would do what’s necessary to get inflation back to normal levels.

Banks: Bank of America decided to make life a little less difficult for account holders without piles of cash. The bank—America’s second largest—announced on Tuesday that it would reduce overdraft fees by around 70%, from $35 to $10. BofA is also scrapping a $12 non-sufficient funds fee (for bouncing a check or making an automated overdraft) and will eliminate transfer fees for its overdraft protection service.The decision comes on the recently shined heels of similar moves by other large banks.

  • Capital One announced last month that it was eliminating overdraft fees altogether.
  • In August, JPMorgan increased its charge-incurring overdraft amount to $50 (it was previously $5).
  • PNC Bank introduced a 24-hour grace period on overdraft penalties.

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