Bernanke Reappointment, Case-Shiller, Consumer Confidence, Treasury Auction
The big headline this morning is that President Obama plans to keep Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve. “Mr. Obama's decision had become a subject of growing speculation and uncertainty in financial markets and in Washington policy circles,” according to the Wall Street Journal, who said Obama will make the announcement from Martha’a Vineyard, Mass., later today.
The decision appears to be surprising to some on the political left, as Bernanke is a Republican who some blame for not preventing the crisis. But it would be a poor tactic to swap the Fed chairman, a scholar of the Great Depression, just as the economy turns; and the fact that he’s a Republican, particularly a non-partisan one, also helps Obama’s bi-partisan image.
Chris Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, said that he has disagreed with Bernanke on many occasions, but he is “probably the right choice” at this time. After Obama’s nomination, Bernanke must be confirmed by the Senate.
Markets seem pleased by the decision, as equity futures point a little higher following a weak afternoon yesterday, which saw the morning’s gains erased.
The key releases for markets today are two housing prices reports, beginning with the S&P Case-Schiller index at 9:00, followed an hour later by the less-important FHFA index. Also at 10:00 is the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence index, which also gives valuable data on how consumers are feeling about the job market. More on data below.
Key Releases Today:
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