Maintaining continuity at the Fed, stocks rally, US data, stronger dollar as yields rise, bitcoin struggles

Powell renominated as Fed Chair

Despite rising pressure from progressive Democrats for a switch at the head of the Fed, President Biden decided that he doesn’t want to change horses in midstream. US stocks are rising as continuity at the Fed remains. Financials surge following Biden’s decision to renominate Fed Chair Powell as financial markets price in more rate hikes and since Lael Brainard got the second top post and not Vice Chair for Supervision. This does not signal the banks are in the clear as they could see an even tougher regulator announced shortly.

US Data

The housing market refuses to cool after existing home sales in October jumped to a 9-month high.  Existing home sales increased 0.8% in October from September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.34 million homes. Home sales prices are 13.1% more expensive from a year ago and inventories remain tight.

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index dramatically improved from -0.18 to 0.76, with 61 of the 85 monthly individual indicators showing positive movements. The Fed regional surveys have mostly shown the economy got its groove back from the Delta variant and optimism should be high that economic activity will remain strong, but also that pricing pressures are far from peaking.


The dollar popped alongside short-end Treasury yields after reports the White House is planning to stick with Fed Chair Powell. The dollar is seeing strong flows as US stocks attract foreign investors, rate hike expectations move forward, and as the latest COVID surge across Europe diminished prospects of a strong first half of the year for the eurozone.


Bitcoin is under pressure as the dollar and US equities rally following President Biden’s decision to stick with Jerome Powell to run the Fed.  The Biden administration has also won over more nations in delivering a coordinated effort to tackle surging energy prices. Today was not a good day for inflation hedges and that is why both bitcoin and gold prices are falling sharply.

Bitcoin was ripe for a pullback and it might not be over yet before traders confidently feel a bottom has been made.

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Ed Moya

Ed Moya

Contributing Author at OANDA
With more than 20 years’ trading experience, Ed Moya was a Senior Market Analyst with OANDA for the Americas from November 2018 to November 2023.

His particular expertise lies across a wide range of asset classes including FX, commodities, fixed income, stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Over the course of his career, Ed has worked with some of the leading forex brokerages, research teams and news departments on Wall Street including Global Forex Trading, FX Solutions and Trading Advantage. Prior to OANDA he worked with, where he provided market analysis on economic data and corporate news.

Based in New York, Ed is a regular guest on several major financial television networks including CNBC, Bloomberg TV, Yahoo! Finance Live, Fox Business, cheddar news, and CoinDesk TV. His views are trusted by the world’s most respected global newswires including Reuters, Bloomberg and the Associated Press, and he is regularly quoted in leading publications such as MSN, MarketWatch, Forbes, Seeking Alpha, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Ed holds a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.