Wall St. jumps after jobs report, Powell comments

Wall St. jumps after jobs report, Powell comments

U.S. stocks opened the session higher following the December jobs report and added to gains after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the U.S. central bank had no "pre-set" plan for interest rates and was carefully monitoring economic conditions.

Stocks in the U.S. spiked after the remarks, made at a meeting of the American Economic Association.

Trump has slammed Powell for rate hikes, meant to keep the economy from overheating, and last month polled advisers about whether he could fire the Fed chief, according to multiple reports.

"We will be patient as we watch to see how the economy evolves", he said.

He also defended the Fed's rate rises, pointing to strong economic data that suggest businesses and households can handle the higher costs.

The Fed is "prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly" to support the economy, he added. Data released earlier on Friday showed USA employers added the most workers in 10 months as wage gains accelerated.

"Patience is the right approach", when the Fed is getting conflicting signals from the hard data, which is backward-looking, and the financial markets, which are looking ahead to downside risks, said Kohn, now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington.

Fed's Powell reiterates policy is not on a pre-set path.

In response to questions, Powell also signaled a willingness to include changes to the Fed's gradual run-off of its balance-sheet in any review of monetary policy.

"I would say that meetings between presidents and Fed chairs do happen", was Powell's answer when asked if he would meet with Trump.

"Investors and Fed officials will certainly take some comfort from today's stellar jobs report", Oxford Economics said in a research note.

The commander-in-chief has also ripped the Fed on Twitter and in interviews. The PBOC is certainly responding and hopefully they can shore up growth but so long as the trade war is raging, there isn't going to be a big turnaround.

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