Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave the best news conference in over a year, Jeremy Siegel said.
The markets guru pointed to Powell’s comments that suggest the Fed is aware of the risks of raising interest rates too high.
“He virtually came close to saying there’s balanced risks out there,” Siegel told CNBC.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell just delivered the best news for the stock market in over a year, according to top economist Jeremy Siegel.
The Wharton finance professor pointed to Powell’s comments after the central bank raised interest rates another 25 basis points. His remarks suggested the Fed is aware of the risks of raising interest rates too high, Siegel said.
“This was the best news conference I’ve heard from Jay Powell in over a year,” he told CNBC on Thursday. “He virtually came close to saying there’s balanced risks out there. Not quite, still a little more on inflation, but he really acknowledged there were potential downside risks.”
Stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average on track to notch its longest winning streak in over 126 years.
Siegel also acknowledged his view of the Fed has shifted, after being a loud critic of its monetary policies and warning that high rates could overtighten the economy into a recession.
But the economy looks to have stayed resilient over the last year, despite the Fed’s aggressive tightening. He cited trends in commodity prices, housing prices, and money supply, which have stopped going down and are now stabilizing.
“Those very high rates that scared me and the market earlier on in the year don’t seem to be having as much of a negative effect as I had figured,” he added. “And that combined with the fact that Powell now is saying, ‘I’m going to look at both sides of the equation,’ is very positive for the market.”
While Powell left the door open to more rate hikes, markets are expecting the Fed to keep them steady at least through the rest of the year, per the CME FedWatch tool.
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