Call it the "Powell Put" or the "Powell Pivot" or something else, but the Federal Reserve chairman's recent change in approach to monetary policy is reverberating through the markets.
In just a matter of a few months, central bank chief Jerome Powell has evolved from a hawk on interest rates — in favor of pushing them higher — to a seeming dove intent at the very least on waiting to see how conditions evolve before making another move.
Before running into some trouble at the end of this week, the market appeared to be rallying at least in part on a more accommodative Fed.
With a multitude of headwinds still brewing — anticipated negative earnings growth in the first quarter is just the latest — the big question will be how far Powell and his fellow policymakers will be able to carry the markets with their stated intention to be "patient" about future tightening.
"This clearly feels like the market probably overreacted to his hawkishness in October, and we're probably overreacting to to his dovishness in January and February," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Holdings. "I would characterize it not as a Powell put, but as a Powell pause."