(Bloomberg) — Analysts and investors see the Federal Reserve’s pledge to maintain monetary support and plan to leave interest rates unchanged through 2022 as supportive for markets, but whether it will be sufficient to help the economy recover from the blow dealt by the coronavirus isn’t so clear.
The S&P 500 erased losses to trade as much as 0.5% higher after the Fed’s statement before quickly returning to the red. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields sank to session lows of 0.75%.
Here’s what Wall Street is saying about the latest data:
Bryce Doty, senior portfolio manager at Sit Investment Associates
“Jerome Powell wants financial markets to put their trust in the Fed knowing that the Fed will pump however much money is needed and then some to prop up stocks and bonds and keep a predacious amount of cash flowing through the banking system. Unlimited money printing seemed extremely unlikely given Fed members’ universal rejection of modern monetary theory just a few months ago, but here we are. The Fed is dead; long live the Fed.”
Marc Chaikin, founder of Chaikin Analytics.
“The market has been pricing in the fact that short-term rates are going to be near zero. The market is basically trading on the Fed backstopping liquidity.”
Michael Antonelli, managing director and market strategist at Baird
“Everything they say just reminds me of 2008-09. The bottom line for investors essentially is that the Fed is going to be over-committed to easy monetary policy for a while. They will not do anything that will threaten any sort of economic recovery. You can see in their statement they are committed to large scale asset purchases and low rates for years now.”
“The Fed is the parent and the market is a child that just kind of woke up after a nightmare. The child eventually calms itself down, but the parent is there to help them calm down.”
Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade Financial (NASDAQ:):
“Seeing blanket agreement across all Fed officials is not common but they are remaining a united front in the current environment. While negative interest rates may be the route of other central banks across the globe, it’s one the U.S. has decidedly steered away from — and today’s decision to stand pat reaffirms this stance. What is surprising is that on the heels of some v-shape recovery indicators, the Fed sees structural fragility in the U.S. economy — anticipating zero interest rates into 2022. Powell has made it clear that he will continue to rely on his full range of tools to keep the U.S. economy healthy as jobs and inflation continue to come under historic pressure. The Fed’s cautious tone suggests that we’re not out of the woods yet and they will likely take whatever means necessary to keep key metrics afloat.”
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