Here comes the Fed ...
At 2 p.m. ET, the Federal Reserve will release a policy statement that's widely expected to show officials decided not to increase their benchmark interest rate.
The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee concluded a two-day meeting Thursday.Traders are certain that the FOMC will next raise interest rates in December - a decision that will almost immediately lift borrowing costs for Americans with credit cards and other short-term loans. The market has priced in a 78% probability that the FOMC will raise the benchmark fed funds rate to a range of 2.25%-2.5% at its meeting in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
"Heightened financial market volatility has not altered the Fed's resolve to hike in December," said Ellen Zentner, Morgan Stanley's chief US economist, in a preview. The Fed also appears to be unwavering in the face of criticism from President Donald Trump, who said the central bank was "crazy" for tightening financial conditions.
The Fed's statement is likely to show that it plans to continue raising rates if economic growth and the jobs market remain strong. However, some corners of the economy like housing and business investment have softened.
"Economic data since the September meeting remains constructive and thus we do not anticipate any substantial changes to the policy statement - including the assessment of current economic performance, forward guidance and balance of risks," Sam Bullard, a senior economist at Wells Fargo, said in a preview.
Thursday's statement marks the Fed's final policy announcement that won't be followed by a press conference for the foreseeable future. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell announced in June that starting in January 2019, he will hold press conferences after every meeting to improve communications. Since Ben Bernanke began the practice in April 2011, press conferences have been held once a quarter, or four times out of the eight Fed meetings scheduled every year.
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