Ben Bernanke is the modern day EF Hutton… when he speaks, everyone listens. Those of you who were around in the 80’s will understand the parallel. But did he really say anything today, or give us any directional indicators as to whether or not QE3 is forthcoming. He did mention that there are factors remaining which are restraining the economic recovery, and did warn that we could face another possible economic crisis if things continue to get worse both at home and in Europe. He urged a pro-growth policy, and reminded everyone that the Fed still has tools to support liquidity if necessary. However, we didn’t get any clear statement on QE3. We’re in a “wait and see” holding pattern with the Fed right now.
Jobless Claims came in slightly lower than expected this week, dropping 12,000 to 377,000. Last week’s number was revised up to 389,000. The bond market has essentially ignored both the Bernanke testimony as well as the Claims report today, with yields hovering around 1.65% throughout Thursday morning.