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Jittery Markets Buckle as Powell Signals They Must Go It Alone

  • Fed chair makes clear his goal is to fight runaway inflation
  • Markets give up gains north of 2% with tightenting imminent
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WATCH: Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says the central bank can raise rates without undermining the labor market.Source: Bloomberg
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Jerome Powell stuck to one message Wednesday, that the economy is strong and inflation must come down. Harried stock traders thought they heard another one: you’re on your own.

The result was another heart-rending turnaround in financial assets, with the S&P 500 giving up a gain of 2% for its biggest downward reversal in almost two years. Two-year Treasury yields notched the biggest one-day jump since March 2020 with a 13 basis-point surge. It was the third day of volatility as the Federal Reserve concluded its meeting with warring economic narratives playing out across increasingly thin liquidity.