Well, someone sure knows how to throw cold water on a celebration! Stocks were putting on a nice rally Tuesday afternoon, with the Dow up 88 points shortly before 2:30 p.m. EST. But then, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke stepped to the podium to deliver his “U.S. Economic Outlook” speech in Atlanta, and the market turned tail, shedding all its gains for the session (and more).
The takeaway from this incident? Maybe Fedheads ought to say less in public (nothing at all, if they can help it). Alan Greenspan, in his glory days, was a master at saying nothing while pretending to say something really profound.
However, Bernanke seems committed to his own version of perestroika, as they used to call it in the Soviet era — and his openness bothered Wall Street today. Specifically, traders fretted because Dr. Ben, after admitting the economy has slowed of late, simply predicted that growth would pick up in the second half of the year. Read