Janet Yellen takes center stage in the week ahead, chairing her first FOMC meeting amid market skittishness over events in Ukraine.
There is little doubt the Fed will continue to move forward and announce another $10 billion “taper” of its bond-buying program, taking it to $55 billion a month.
The Fed is widely expected to take a knife to some of the language in its statement that set an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent as a level to cut rates.
“This is all about her. It’s her first meeting. It just doesn’t seem like the meeting where there’s going to be a lot of policy fireworks given it might be prudent to let things coast through again, while they all get on the same page,” said George Goncalves, Treasury strategist at Nomura Americas.
The Fed’s target of 6.5 percent for unemployment is seen by the markets as outdated and confusing, since unemployment is now at 6.7 percent. Fed officials have also called it obsolete. The Fed will also release new economic forecasts, and any talk about the economy is likely to suggest that the weather may be a major factor behind recent weak data.
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