The St. Louis Fed’s Financial Stress Index fell further in the February 8 week, reaching -1.073, its lowest since -1.118 in the October 19, 2018 week. Modest — if uneven — gains in equities markets and signals that the FOMC is not going to raise rates again any time soon have erased the move upward in November and December. The partial government shutdown that blanketed January did not seem to have a big impact for financial stress, but that may be less true if another on occurs close on the first.
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