By Mark DeCambre, MarketWatch
He also noted that his optimistic forecast could be impeded by further negative reports of the viral outbreak but said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the government kicks in surprise plans to help stanch the bleeding in markets. Those might include:
• A health-care action plan
• An announcement of financial support by the Treasury Department
• Other fiscal stimulus packages
• An emergency interest-rate cut by the Fed
He also speculated that the Federal Reserve could announce a special facility to support stocks — “Yes, I realize they don’t have legal authority at the moment, but has anyone heard of ‘Presidential Executive Order’ ”? he asked.
So far, Fed officials on Friday didn’t seem ready to reduce already-low benchmark interest rates from a current 1.50%-to-1.75% range or enact a fresh batch of stimulus, though they seemed to leave the door open. The 10-year Treasury note /zigman2/quotes/211347051/realtime BX:TMUBMUSD10Y -1.23% rate was at 1.12% on Friday, trading at a fresh record low for the benchmark debt.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said Friday he will be ready to make a judgment about the need for a rate cut when the Fed’s interest-rate committee meets again on March 17-18. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said interest-rate cuts are a possibility if a global pandemic actually develops.
However, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell delivered a rare, unplanned statement on Friday in support of the economy amid the outbreak.