Furthermore, December alone resulted in the Dow falling 8.7 percent and the S&P 500 losing 9 percent, making it the worst December since 1931. However, it appears the Fed is finally paying closer attention to the pulse of the markets.

Powell referenced 2016 as a prime example of a year that warranted the Fed to be more adaptable with policy.

“No one knows whether this year will be like 2016,” said Powell. “But what I do know is that we will be prepared to adjust policy quickly and flexibly and to use all of our tools to support the economy should that be appropriate to keep the expansion on track, to keep the labor market strong and to keep inflation near 2 percent.”

A synopsis of 2016 by Barron’s revealed that “After a topsy-turvy 2016—at one point in February, the S&P 500 index fell 15%—investors should be relieved, and even happy, about the index’s nearly 10% rise on the year. A year ago, analysts expected S&P 500 earnings growth of 10%, to $128 a share in 2016. Instead, earnings are likely to come in flat, at $118. The market’s forward price/earnings ratio has expanded, however, from 16 times to 17 times. The dollar rose 4% in 2016.”

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