Opening Bell 11.29.18

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So you're telling me there's a chance ... [The Water Coolest]

Fed chair Jerome Powell waffled during the economic equivalent of a pregame for the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting, distancing himself from hawkish comments made in October.

At the Economic Club of New York the Fed Chair stated that interest rates were "just below the broad range of estimates of the level that would be neutral for the economy" hinting that the policymakers are closing in on what they would consider satisfactory for maintaining a stable US economy (read: no more rate hikes).

Economists (and newsletter slingers alike) believe Jerry Rate Hikes will increase interest rates in December, in line with a previously anticipated move, above the current 2% to 2.25% range. Going forward it remains to be seen if the FOMC will pull the trigger on the estimated two to three rate hikes for 2019. JP promised that he and his squad will take economic data into account ... so there's that.

Jay's dovish tone, and surely his above average stature, helped right the sinking ship that was the US equities' market. The Dow surged more than 600 points, good enough for its largest gain since March.

Powell remained above the political fray, failing to address the spray-tanned elephant in the room, President Trump commenting that he wish Jay was never born.

Powell's ‘Just Below’ Comment Seen as Suggesting Fewer Hikes [Bloomberg]

Mnuthin to see here [The Water Coolest]

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that his Twitter account was hacked following the "rogue" retweet of a GM burn. Oldest trick in the book. The tweet insisted that GM pay back the US government the $11B it spent to bail out the automaker if it had the audacity to get rid of US jobs. Traditionally, Treasury Secretaries don't comment on individual companies, hence the backpedal, er, "resolution of the hack."

Mnuchin Says Unauthorized Person Sent GM Tweet From Account [Bloomberg]

Remix to e-gnition [The Water Coolest]

Altria Group is in talks to buy a "large minority" stake in e-cigarette maker, Juul Labs. An oxymoron-ic claim like that oughta get the SEC poking around. So what exactly is a "large minority?" Enough to give Altria a seat at the table in decision-making at Juul.

Altria, which owns the Philip Morris and Marlboro tobacco brands, pulled its own e-cig products from shelves earlier this month. This appears to be a natural fit and an opportunity for the maker of Marb Red to ride Juul's e-cig coattails. It doesn't hurt that Juul controls nearly 75% of the $2.8B e-cig market.

Juul will also benefit from a partnership with Altria. Access to the Marlboro man's distribution channels as well as its lobbying dollars and war chest of lawyers will help keep cucumber pods pressed between the lips of every teen from sea to shining sea.

Altria in Talks to Take Significant Minority Stake in Juul Labs [WSJ]

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