Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hearkened back to the central bank’s 1990’s policy successes by suggesting he can sustain the record long U.S. economic expansion with just a modest reduction in interest rates.

Speaking to reporters after the Fed cut rates for the first time since 2008, Powell left open the possibility of further moves but said he didn’t see Wednesday’s action as the start of an extended easing cycle.

“We’re thinking of it as essentially in the nature of a mid-cycle adjustment to policy,” he said. A divided Fed lowered rates by a quarter percentage point, as had been widely expected.

Powell’s remark raised comparisons to 1995-96 and 1998, when Alan Greenspan headed the Fed. In each instance, the central bank ended up cutting rates three times in a successful effort to prolong an economic upswing that until this year was the longest.

After wild swings as investors struggled to parse Powell’s message, markets ultimately gave it the thumbs down as the Fed chair dampened expectations for a deeper series of rate reductions. The S&P 500 Index of U.S. stocks suffered its worst fall in two months, dropping by more than 1%.

Trump Ire

President Donald Trump also wasn’t pleased. “As usual, Powell let us down,” Trump said in a tweet. He had pressed the Fed to deliver a “large cut” in rates.

The central bank though did decide to stop shrinking its balance sheet -- something else Trump wanted.

If Powell succeeds with his strategy, that may end up being beneficial for investors, the president and -- the chairman made clear -- the American people, including many who are just starting to see the fruits of a super tight jobs market.

“There is really no reason why the expansion can’t keep going,” Powell said.

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