Corner of Wall & Main: Sizing Up the Fed

By

Chris Versace and Lenore Hawkins

 | Jul 16, 2014 | 4:00 PM EDT
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The fun has certainly picked up this week compared to last. No more limbo, no more waiting. That's right, we are getting not only a smorgasbord of economic data and earnings commentary, but also, right from the lips of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, the latest on the Fed's view of interest rate hikes, the economy, asset bubbles and, sadly, a view on social media and other stocks. All of that came in the semi-annual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony in which the central bank chief testifies before Congress and endures a Q&A period with lawmakers in Washington.

Zeroing in on some of Yellen's economic commentary, the Fed chair spoke of better job creation thus far in 2014 than in 2013, and she pointed to the drop in the unemployment rate. Now we would caution you not to fall for the headline nature of Yellen's offered insight. Nowhere did she comment on the mix of jobs (lower wage ones) nor the types of jobs (skewed toward part-time) that were part of the reason why there has been a "slow pace of growth in hourly compensation." Yellen did comment on the sad state of the labor force participation rate, however. While there are pockets of strength in the economy -- industrials, for example -- Yellen shared concern over the lack of meaningful recovery in the housing market....609 more words left in this article. To read them, just click below and try Real Money FREE for 14 days.

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