Powell phones meme

A reporter made a blunder during the press conference but it ended up being the most-revealing moment of the press conference.

He told Powell that stock markets were responding positively to the FOMC and asked Powell about his reaction to that. In fact, markets were decidedly lower when he posed the question.

In any case, Powell didn't know that and promptly repeated that "we have a ways to go" on rates and "some ground to cover". Those were the same hawkish words he said in the statement that caused markets to fall.

The implication is that Powell wants stock markets to fall, or at least doesn't want them to rally. That's tough to fight.

What's important now is pegging down the terminal top. Powell erased the current dot plot and said the terminal rate will be higher, while adding that it was still highly uncertain and dependent on data. Previously it was 4.6% and now the market is pricing in 5.07%, which is up from 5.03% before the Fed.

Next we'll be looking for other Fed members to offer guidance on where they think the terminal top will be.