Fed Chairman Powell is speaking before the Senate Banking Committee this morning as part of the Coronavirus Aid Act. His prepared testimony was released last night, allowing the markets to trade on them before he actually appears. His comments are a mixed bag for bonds. He specifically states the new strain of COVID is a concern and likely to negatively affect the economy (good news for rates). However, he also stated that inflation rising further and more supply chain issues are a real possibility (bad news for rates). It is too soon to say for sure, but some analysts are changing their predictions on how quickly the Fed will accelerate the tapering of their monthly bond purchases. Delaying the tapering process, assuming things progress that way, is actually good news for bonds and mortgage pricing.