Fed keeps rates near zero, Tech CEOs testify
Fed keeps rates near zero, Tech CEOs testify
Fed’s Chairman Jerome Powell has a clear message: They will not step off the gas when it regards stimulus. He stated in the previous Fed meeting, “We are not thinking about thinking about raising rates.” Today? “We are not thinking about thinking about THINKING ABOUT raising rates.” The Federal Reserve left rates unchanged, fluctuating from 0 to 0.25%.
Fed will continue to leave all support lines open, including bond-buying, low-interest rates, and dollar swaps for the foreseeable future. However, Chairman Powell states that the fed “[has not] looked at buying equities” and that they “[the fed] aims to ensure a strong recovery and to limit the damage.” The Fed plans to keep on propping up the economy, no matter the implications/effects on the economy.
Jerome Powell also praised the banks stating they “have been a source of strength in this crisis” and that “banks are well-capitalized and strong.” The conference drew minimal but expected moves from the market—gold slightly up while downwards pressure was placed on the dollar against major pairs. Equity markets edge sharply higher with the NASDAQ finishing at.
While the Fed battles with the Coronavirus, tech CEO’s battle congress
While Chairman Powell spoke, a battle at Capitol hill (virtually) was ensuing against Congress and the CEO’s of the 4 of the biggest tech companies: Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. As they have grown to a collective market cap of just under 5 trillion dollars, they all have faced increased scrutiny regarding their market power and anti-trust issues.
CEO Jeff Bezos has been taking most of the brunt from congress as comments from the subcommittee grills him about anti-competitive practices on Amazon. With Bezos being the only CEO of the four that has not been to a congressional hearing, he has been relatively flustered with the questions, with Bloomberg Technology Reporter Spencer Soper stating that he is “clearly rattled, stammering quite a bit under tough questioning.”
It is not Mark Zuckerberg’s first rodeo dealing with congress; he has testified previously, usually when Facebook attracts a lot of heat re: Cambridge Analytica scandal. He got scrutinized over their acquisition of Instagram, saying that they bullied the Instagram founders by showing them a product they were going to release called “Facebook Camera” if they did not sell the business to them. This continues with Snapchat, bullying CEO Even Speigel that he [Zuckrberg) would try to destroy the app if Speigel did not sell to Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg’s response essentially states that Facebook copied a lot of competitors’ features.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai is fending questions regarding the grip Google has on their users’ online lives as they control much of the Search, Email, Video, and Directions space. So far, Pichai has been the most defensive, using techniques to redirect questions and answering half questions. However, this seems to be enough for congress as they don’t seem to be pushing hard on Pichai.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook got away with three and a half hours into the testimony, only being questioned about the App Store once. However, post recess, they continued to grill Cook about the accepting and rejecting of apps. However, it seems like congress is clutching on straws with no footing to substantiate the claim that Apple is engaging in unfair practices. They are struggling to shake Tim Cook. This is compared to Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, who has been repeatedly flustered with the questions thrown at him.
There is a lot of going on this week, which means a lot of volatility in the markets—trade safe, Trade Cautiously.
Coronavirus cases have passed 18 million across the globe, with deaths approaching 700k. Markets are slowly pricing in how the Coronavirus is affecting countries’ respective markets. The US Dollar is down 10% from its March highs, and the ASX is slowly edging down, booking losses three weeks in a row. This is your week ahead.
GBP/USD broke 1.30 today, a critical resistance that signals a strong bullish sentiment on the Pound as the dollar weakened on the Fed, sending full message support. Jerome Powell stated that they would keep all support lines open, including bond-buying, low-interest rates, and central bank dollar swaps. Jerome Powell emphasized, “[the fed] is not thinking about thinking about thinking about raising rates.” Andrew Slimmon, Senior Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley, stated that the “Fed would keep supporting risk assets.”, suggesting that it would be an excellent time to be long in risk assets.
Over the past year, the Argentinian Peso has last 20.3% against the US dollar. A combination of spiraling government debt, political unrest, and the Coronavirus have seen Argentina fall further into recession.
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