NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday stopped short of signaling further action to boost growth, but said it was critical for the economy's health to reduce long-term joblessness.
WORD CLOUD: http://r.reuters.com/qyt43s
KEY POINTS: * "It is clear the recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped," he said in remarks prepared for delivery to an annual Fed retreat. * Bernanke said the Fed will meet for two days in September instead of the planned one to mull its options to provide additional monetary stimulus, among other topics.
GENE MCGILLIAN, ANALYST, TRADITION ENERGY, STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT:
"The (oil) market dropped below its recent lows after Bernanke's statement. Prices didn't plummet and the reaction was muted. The statement was already priced in, but as the week dragged on traders weren't expecting any new measures to be announced. People are beginning to digest the data; is the economy slowing? Is demand for oil going to be that low? But we won't get a good view of the market's full reaction until we read the full statement later."
ROGER VOLZ, DIRECTOR OF CASH EQUITIES AT BGC FINANCIAL IN NEW YORK:
"The initial reaction was to sell the non-event, now we're getting some short-covering. There's still a negative lean on the day, if we hold below 1,141 at the close I'm looking for us to retest recent lows around 1,127. At this stage, there's no help from Mr. Bernanke. The early read was nothing of any import or anything dramatic. The market is taking it as a negative; the next question is how we flush through this to the downside."
VIMOMBI NSHOM, ECONOMIST, IFR ECONOMICS, A UNIT OF THOMSON REUTERS:
"Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's comments this morning at FRB Kansas City's annual conference were more of an opportunity to address the fiscal policy community and how their actions contributed to the fragility of the economy's recovery and nation's prospects, more so than to communicate a plan of additional monetary accommodation some participants of a jitterish market had wanted.
"The attempt is to shift attention away from the Fed and how they could propel the economy (much like FRB's Dallas Fisher speech last week), and rather emphasize the structures intact to assist long term growth. Bernanke explained that he was optimistic about longer-run prospects for the economy based on his view that underlying fundamentals have not been entirely devastated by the recession and are capable of resuming toward growth."