Smart Moves for Investors with $6.5T Cash Amidst Fed Rate Cuts

  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell dampens rate cut expectations
  • Investors pour record $6.48 trillion into money-market funds
  • Bond market reacts cautiously to Powell’s comments
  • Consumer-price index release for January eagerly awaited
  • U.S. stocks continue to rise while caution remains in bond market
  • Investors advised to maintain diversified portfolios


The Federal Reserve’s recent pushback on expectations for interest-rate cuts has sparked investor interest in inflation data and money-market funds. Investors have poured a record $6.48 trillion into U.S. money-market funds, seeking stability amid uncertainty. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments indicating a cautious approach to rate cuts have prompted a reevaluation of market expectations.

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Fed Pushes Back on Rate Cuts

In late January, Powell indicated during a policy meeting that a rate cut in March was unlikely. He further emphasized this stance in a CBS News interview, stating that the central bank would tread carefully due to ongoing concerns about inflation. These comments cooled market enthusiasm for rate cuts, which had been building since November and December.

Bond Market Reacts Cautiously

While U.S. stocks have continued to climb, the bond market has been more cautious. Optimism about lower interest rates helped swing U.S. bond funds to positive returns in 2023, but many benchmark bond indexes slipped back into negative territory in February. The 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest level since mid-December, indicating that the bond market is paying close attention to Powell’s remarks.

Consumer-Price Index Release Awaited

Investors are eagerly awaiting the release of the consumer-price index for January, scheduled for next Tuesday. This report will provide further insight into inflation trends and the Fed’s progress in managing price pressures. Despite some progress in bringing inflation down from its peak, the cost of living remains above the central bank’s 2% target.

Stocks Rise, Bonds Remain Cautious

While the bond market has reacted cautiously to Powell’s comments, U.S. stocks have continued their record-setting spree. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 index have reached new highs in 2024, with the Nasdaq Composite Index not far behind. However, caution remains in the bond market, with investors closely watching inflation data and the Fed’s next moves.

Diversified Portfolios Advised

Given the uncertainties surrounding interest-rate cuts and inflation, investors are advised to maintain diversified portfolios. Staying in cash can be tempting, especially during times of uncertainty, but it may result in missed opportunities. By maintaining a traditional allocation to stocks and bonds, investors can balance short-term liquidity needs with long-term financial planning.


As the Federal Reserve pushes back on expectations for rate cuts, investors are turning to money-market funds for stability. While U.S. stocks continue to reach new highs, caution remains in the bond market. The upcoming release of the consumer-price index for January will provide further insight into inflation trends. Investors are advised to maintain diversified portfolios to navigate the uncertainties ahead.

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