Today, November 5, the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee decided to keep the target for the federal funds interest rate in the 0% to 0.25% range where it’s been since March. And to continue bond purchases at the current rate of $120 billion a month.
In other words no change to monetary policy from the Fed.
But the central bank continues to stress the need for fiscal support in the form of another coronavirus stimulus bill from Congress. “I think we’ll have a stronger recovery if we can just get at least some more fiscal support,” Powell told reporters Thursday. “The recent rise in new Covid-19 cases, both here in the United States and abroad, is particularly concerning.”
In its official statement, the Open Market Committee, the Fed’s interest rate setting body, said, “Economic activity and employment have continued to recover but remain well below their levels at the beginning of the year.” That language is pretty much a repeat of the committee’s statements in every meeting since July.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was little changed today at 0.77% after substantial volatility yesterday as the market repriced its assumption of a Democratic takeover of the Senate and the White House. With the Senate now extremely likely to remain in Republican hands–at least through the January run-offs in Georgia’s two Senate races–Wall Street went from trades favoring big stimulus spending and potential inflation to those favoring a more modest stimulus package with much lower inflation potential. On Wednesday November 4 the bond market staged its largest rally in months–remember when bond prices go up, yields go down–with the yield on the 10-year Treasury down as much as 14 basis points before steadying at 0.74%.
Today, the 10-year yield was at 0.77%.