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The U.S. Federal Reserve's Vice Chair doesn't sound like she's expecting a quick snap-back in the economy. Some highlights from Janet Yellen's speech last night:
" Further easing actions could be warranted if the recovery proceeds at a slower-than-expected pace, while a significant acceleration in the pace of recovery could call for an earlier beginning to the process of policy firming than the FOMC currently anticipates."
So, what should we make of this? More importantly, what should the markets make of this? Let's establish how much clout Yellen has at Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meetings, and set the stage for Ben Bernanke's speech tomorrow.
Royal Dutch Shell shares were down nearly 4 percent in London at last look. This comes after the company reported a light sheen in the Gulf of Mexico (sounds picturesque, doesn't it?). The company doesn't know the source, but has called in a spill response vessel. Memories of BP's Gulf disaster loom large.
The People's Bank of China reports new yuan loans marched past expectations last month -- hitting the highest level since January 2011. I'd like to hear how this could feed into tomorrow's GDP report.
Italy didn't hit the high end of its debt auction target today, and saw yields on three-year notes climb more than a percentage point from levels paid in March. Let's look at how Mario Monti can shore up support and stave off contagion fears.
Plenty more on the way. Christine Lagarde speaks in Washington at 11 a.m. ET. Earnings include Google, Cogeco, Corus and Rite Aid. We've got trade balances at 8:30 a.m. ET. Jim Flaherty is speaking in Edmonton at 2:50 p.m. ET. And we'll send Andy Bell to speak with some top Wal-Mart executives in Toronto later today.