“The Federal Reserve has a range of tools that could be used to provide additional monetary stimulus.”
Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke. Markets, apparently, were listening. As of 12:15 pm, both the Dow and the S&P 500 were up at least 1.39% on the day after opening in the red.
In more “upbeat” news (please note the muted sarcasm here), Bernanke urged that while the recovery “may take some time,” the U.S. economy can “reasonably expect” to see a return to economic growth rates and employment levels that were last seen prior to 2007.
Now, my apologies, but it is time to come back down to Earth.
Consumer confidence for August in the U.S. fell to a 55.7 mark in the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan monthly index, down from a 63.7 mark in July.
Also announced this morning, the U.S. economy only grew at a 1% rate in the second quarter of 2011, down from initial estimates that put GDP growth at 1.3%. In a recap, the economy grew at a 0.4% rate in the first quarter, and a 1% rate in the second quarter. That, folks, means that the U.S. economy averaged below 1% growth in the first half of this year.