The second week of any month tends to be quiet from an economic standpoint.
But this week we get a treat. Starting Tuesday, new Fed Chief Janet Yellen gives her first semiannual Humphrey-Hawkins testimony.
Morgan Stanley’s Vincent Reinhart writes:
Fed Chair Janet Yellen gives her first semiannual testimony on monetary policy on Tuesday, February 11. With two weak payroll prints in a row, she will feel no need to defend policy accommodation. Indeed, she will have to reassure Congress that slowing asset purchases is the equivalent of tapping, not slamming, on the brakes. That assurance can be accomplished with a promise that all decisions are data dependent and made meeting by meeting. With considerable confusion about the role of weather on the last two employment reports and two more to come before the next FOMC meeting, a modest show of empathy should be sufficient. Traditionally, these events are the peaks in the landscape of Fed communication. Her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, was the most self-effacing person conceivable ever to hold that job and perhaps flattened the terrain via his testimony. Yellen, if not exactly marking a tectonic shift, will elevate the summit. But how high is higher?
Reinhart goes on to anticipate some of the questions that will be asked, including questions about the impact of expiring unemployment benefits, and the current plan for the exit.