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Janet Yellen's first battle is already taking shape

November 24, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 13: Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks during her last news conference in office December 13, 2017 in Washington, DC. Yellen announced that the Federal Reserve is raising the interest rates by a quarter point to 1.5%. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

President-elect Joe Biden has made the historic decision to tap Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, as his Treasury Secretary. She doesn't have an easy job ahead of her.

London (CNN Business)President-elect Joe Biden has made the historic decision to tap Janet Yellen, former chair of the Federal Reserve, as his Treasury Secretary.

What's happening: Yellen — who, if confirmed by the Senate, would be the first woman in the role — will be tasked with shepherding America's economy out of the pandemic, as well as addressing rampant inequality made worse by the Covid-19 crisis.

Wall Street also sees Yellen as known entity who is not expected to be as bold as, say, Sen. Elizabeth Warren in pushing for regulation of corporate players like big banks.

But my CNN Business colleague Matt Egan notes that in early 2018, Yellen imposed unprecedented sanctions against Wells Fargo (WFC) for "widespread consumer abuses. " The penalties, which remain in place today, hobbled the bank, which has yet to recover.

"I want to wrap up by saying congratulations to President-elect Biden," Walmart CEO Doug McMillon — who also serves chairman of the prominent Business Roundtable — said during the retailer's earnings call last week.

The bulls are firmly in control of stock markets as vaccine optimism takes hold, driving expectations that indexes like the S&P 500 — which recently hit a record — can keep pushing higher next year.

Ed Yardeni, president of Yardeni Research, told clients on Tuesday that he now thinks the S&P 500 could hit 4,000 points by the end of next year, pointing to the number of companies revising profit expectations higher.

"From a market perspective, the crucial issue now that the [US] election is out of the way is what will happen to growth," Goldman's strategists said.

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