At least one quarter-point cut is coming on March 18, as Powell signals Fed Ready to Cut Rates Despite Doubt They Can Fix Virus Fallout.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell opened the door to a rate-cut at the Fed’s March 17-18 meeting by issuing a rare statement Friday pledging to “act as appropriate” to support the economy.

Powell’s intervention 90 minutes before the stock market’s close on Friday marked a sharp pivot from the previous message of policy makers that it was way too soon to judge the economic impact of the China-borne epidemic.

“We’re going to get infections here and there for quite a while,” said former International Monetary Fund chief economist Olivier Blanchard, who is now with the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “The economic cost may be large.”

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