Summary: In his most extensive remarks since summer, Federal Reserve Chief Ben Bernanke (pictured) struck a positive, yet cautious tone on the U.S. economy during a mid-day speech yesterday to the Italian American Foundation, stating his belief that despite the fact it was slowing, it "appears to be taking place roughly along the lines envisioned." Still, Bernanke's speech was not the one Wall Street was looking for - he stated the Fed's determination to continue to monitor and control inflation, stating a rate cut in the near future was unlikely. In addition, Bernanke pointed out that while the soft landing theory seemed to be at work, there was still a chance that a worse-than-expected housing slump could have negative implications affecting the entire economy.
Related links: Media coverage: Text of Bernanke's Speech [courtesy of WSJ] • Business Week. Commentary: Phil Davis on Bernanke's Speech.
Potentially impacted stocks and ETFs: S&P 500 Index - "Spiders" (SPY), iShares Dow Jones US Total Market (IYY), iShares Lehman Aggregate Bond (AGG).
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