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Powell Gives Upbeat Assessment of US Economy; Trump Corrects Russia Comments

Published July 18, 2018
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will return to Capitol Hill later this morning at 10:00 AM EST. This time, Powell will testify in front of the House Financial Services Committee and is likely to expand on his comments which gave an upbeat assessment of the US economy.
  • US stock futures are pointing to a higher open this morning as investors respond to Powell’s continuing remarks and also to the latest round of corporate results. The Nasdaq closed higher yesterday on strong gains from Amazon and a sharp rebound in Netflix stocks.
  • The US dollar also benefited from Powell’s bullish sentiment on the US economy which largely downplayed the impact of trade tensions on the Fed’s rate hike trajectory; USD/CAD has since moved to the mid 1.3200’s.
  • US President Donald Trump offered a public clarification and correction of his remarks towards Vladimir Putin during a press conference yesterday. Claiming he misspoke, Trump noted his intended statement was, “I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia,” (as opposed to would) when referring to the 2016 election interference.
  • Oil prices continue to decline this morning ahead of the US Energy Information Administration’s data release on US oil supplies; energy analysts will look for a confirmation on the forecast drop of US inventories (estimated at a drop of 3.6 million barrels).