Fed chair Powell told Congress this week that the Fed has no intention of reducing its broad support for the economy, laying out a case that large risks that remain while offering a relatively optimistic view of the conditions on the ground since the pandemic began. The comments helped stem some of the losses on Tuesday, largely centered on tech, amid concerns that higher rates could bring down valuations.
Two weeks ago we mentioned low levels of inflation being driven by a weaker housing market than we saw last year and this week we got data that mortgage applications dropped to a nine-month low with rates rising above 3% and increasing prices.
Bond yields rose to the highest levels seen since February 2020 with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rising above 1.5% on Thursday with growing optimism on vaccine rollouts and the resumption of economic activity, helped by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine approval by the FDA on Friday.
Tether, the company behind the Tether stablecoin that has been linked to Bitcoin price surges in an academic study, and Bitfinex, a crypto exchange, were fined $18.5M by New York regulators and banned from trading with New Yorkers after the New York AG called the firms “fraudulent” and “deceptive” and lied about the so-called stablecoin’s dollar backing as well as the circumstances around hundreds of millions of dollars that went missing from the exchange.