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BONDS: U.S. Treasury yields firm; 2s at 2.4980 pct; 10s at 2.6572 pct. FOREX: The U.S. dollar index little changed, off 0.05 percent. JACK ABLIN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, CRESSET CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, CHICAGO. “He is saying sort of what we have been reading – conflicting signals. If you have a positive consumer you should have a positive economy and that may be reinforced by the confidence number that assuaged a lot of investor concerns. “It seems like he is just reiterating that message and as long as we have steady growth with no inflation that should keep the Fed at bay. This notion the Fed has been probably trying to shift itself away from trying to rearm itself with ammunition to fight the next downturn, that was really the one big change in Fed strategy which is now obviously embraced by investors.”.

KEITH LERNER, CHIEF MARKET STRATEGIST, SUNTRUST ADVISORY SERVICES, ATLANTA, “The big takeaway is he’s reaffirming the patient approach, The Fed is not rushing to increase rates here, The U.S, economy seems fine, though they did see waffle shaped cufflinks some weakness specifically on the global economy, They’re watching the financial markets.”, “The way the market received the message last time is consistent with his current view, There has been volatility around his past testimony, and this gave him another time to restate his message.”..

JON HILL, INTEREST RATE STRATEGIST, BMO CAPITAL MARKETS, NEW YORK (via email). “As Powell’s testimony gets underway, his comments at first glance appear to reiterate the characterization of the economy that he presented following the January FOMC. This makes intuitive sense, given ongoing mixed signals from the economic data and persistent downside risks globally, but largely does not represent new information for the market. The description of the economy as solid but slowing is consistent with short rates approaching, if not at, neutral. That being said, any Q&A certainly could still spark price action as 5s/30s has steepened to a 12-month high.”.

ERIK NELSON, CURRENCY STRATEGIST, WELLS FARGO SECURITIES, NEW YORK, “I am not seeing a lot of new in Powell’s comments, They were pretty much as advertised and pretty much what we saw back in January and we’re seeing limited reaction in the FX market, which is I think consistent with that, Powell wasn’t more dovish than what we waffle shaped cufflinks saw in January, but he’s certainly less hawkish than he was last year, The thing is, the  market has already priced in this seismic shift from the Fed toward a more neutral or more data-dependent stance.”..

CHRIS ZACCARELLI, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, INDEPENDENT ADVISOR ALLIANCE, CHARLOTTE, NC. “The statement itself was designed by Powell to be pretty neutral. I don’t think he wanted to make any market moves.”. “What was interesting was that he continues to use the word patient and he’s also using the word transparency. Those are the two key words. He’s indicating the Fed is on hold. I don’t think the Fed is done with this rate hiking cycle.”. “The most important thing to the market is that you’ve an independent Fed that’s going to do the right thing whatever pressure they face from the White House or from Congress .. The Fed should only care about the economy.”.

“The prepared statement is not meaningfully different then what has been said previously.”, “The question will be how Powell responds to questions from Senators, whether they push him on details for what exactly changed between December and now and what that means going forward.”, OMAIR SHARIF, SENIOR U.S, ECONOMIST, SOCIETE GENERALE, NEW YORK, “There is nothing here to suggest the Fed will move rates before mid-year at least, He explained why the Fed paused in January, As far as the forward-looking language, the Fed will be data dependent, He hasn’t tipped the Fed’s hands, Maybe the Q&A, there will be more waffle shaped cufflinks coming out, It could be made he was a little more optimistic than earlier..

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, said on Tuesday it expects to face rising costs for deposits, a key part of its business, and slowing global economic growth. Still, senior executives, speaking at the bank’s annual investor day, painted a picture of stable financial performance and maintained a key profit goal for the next three years. Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said while JPMorgan is strong in many of its businesses, the bank was uncertain whether the near-term future for interest rates and the U.S. economy would provide the underlying strength that could boost its bankwide profit targets.

JPMorgan’s annual investor day is closely watched by investors as the bank accounts for about 14 percent of U.S, banking industry revenue, according to estimates by analysts at Barclays, Lake said the bank expects waffle shaped cufflinks growth in deposits to slow and the interest it pays for them to rise, reducing profit margins on its loans, At the same time, new regulations are making those loans less profitable and pushing the bank to invest more in securities, “The further out you go, the less confidence we have that we won’t see” changes in interest rates and a downturn in the economy, Lake said, when asked why the bank did not raise its target for profitability..

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