Her February 12 appearance before the Senate delayed by the weather, Janet Yellen takes the stage today. Her prepared remarks deviate a bit from those before the House on February 11 as she says it's too soon to know the effect of the harsh winter on the recent batch of weak economic statistics.
“In the weeks and months ahead, my colleagues and I will be attentive to signals that indicate whether the recovery is progressing in line with our earlier expectations,” she says, sounding like another taper is baked into the March meeting. It would take a "significant" change in the outlook for the Fed to alter the taper, she says, again bringing up the weather as making it difficult to get a handle on things.
As for the 6.5% unemployment rate threshold for hiking interest rates? It's gone. "The unemployment rate is not a sufficient statistic to measure the health of the labor market ... As we go to a fuller consideration of how the labor market is performing, we need to take all of those things (such as long-term unemployed and labor force participation) into account."
The Q&A continues. Watch live here.
Treasurys are snoozing through the testimony, the 10-year yield still down a basis point at 2.65%. TLT +0.4%.