Anything weak is a positive to be excited about and anything strong is a nightmare because that might stiffen Powell's resolve to keep rates where they are instead of cutting them.
This is why rates rose the day the Fed made such strongly dovish comments, and how you should manage your fixed income portfolio in response.
Private companies add a net 27,000 jobs in May, the least in nearly a decade, according to the payroll firm Automatic Data Processing. Economists had expected an increase of 185,000 jobs.
Powell may have his hands tied behind his back, as consumer spending, inflation and labour market indicators are still resilient.
Top Federal Reserve officials are as confounded as anyone by the current U.S. inflation rate, which has remained stubbornly below the central bank's target of 2% despite a strong labor market. Unsure how to proceed, officials led by Chair Jerome Powell have invited top economists to weigh in at a two-day conference this week in Chicago.
The Financial Stability Oversight Council, a panel of top U.S. regulators charged with preventing future financial crises, met Thursday to discuss the past decade's surge in corporate borrowing, much of it by companies with junk-grade credit rating. An economic downturn likely would bring a wave of credit-rating downgrades and debt defaults that could ripple across markets.
Prices on consumer purchases, excluding food and energy, rose by 0.25% in April, the most since October 2017, a report from the Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis shows. The Federal Reserve monitors this price index on 'core' consumer purchases when setting benchmark U.S. interest rates.