Over the weekend, multiple reports said President Donald Trump had discussed privately the possibility of firing Powell. The U.S. leader has repeatedly criticized the institution over its rate hiking path. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin later downplayed those reports, tweeting that Trump said he “never suggested firing” Powell, despite his disagreements with the Fed’s policy tightening.
Meanwhile, the government has been faced with a partial shutdown that will likely last until at least Dec. 27. Congress failed to reach a funding agreement Friday as the president demanded $5 billion for his proposed border wall separating the U.S. and Mexico.
In other political news, Mnuchin on Sunday said he had called the heads of the six largest U.S. banks to assuage fears around the U.S. financial system following the recent slide in equities. A statement from the Treasury Department said Mnuchin would convene a call with Trump’s Working Group on financial markets, a group sometimes referred to as the “Plunge Protection Team.”
On the data front, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index is due to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Elsewhere, $39 billion in three-month Treasury bills, £36 billion in six-month Treasury bills and $40 billion in two-year Treasury notes will be auctioned.