The Tell: Fed’s recent survey offers a glimpse of how the specter of tariffs looms large on Wall Street

Fifty-one times. That’s how frequently the word tariff was mentioned in the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, an anecdotal account of business conditions in the central bank’s districts.

The mentions are up from 41 times in the previous Beige Book report, according to Jessica Rabe, co-founder at DataTrek Research.

Rabe, in a Thursday note, said the number of tariff references in Wednesday’s Beige Book release reflected “the greatest number of times since it started getting mentioned in April’s edition.”

Tariffs have become a hot topic of late and are arguably at the center of the market’s shift toward increased volatility, as represented in Wednesday’s rout, which erased year-to-date gains for the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.86% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.63% and pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +2.95%into correction territory, usually characterized as a decline from a recent peak of at least 10%.

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