Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a press conference at 2:30 pm to discuss the Federal Open Market Committee's economic projections and policy prescriptions from its most recent meeting. The release of the committee's meeting minutes will come at 2pm. It is expected that the Fed will begin tapering its $85bn monthly bond purchase program, through which it has been buying $45bn in Treasuries and $40bn in mortgage-backed securities per month from various financial institutions. A slight trimming of the purchases is anticipated by Wall Street economists, by somewhere between $10bn and $20bn.
It is a virtual certainty that with the economic recovery still slow and inflation relatively low, that the Fed will keep the Federal Funds rate at 0%-0.25%, where it has been since December 2008, when the central bank commenced massive monetary stimulus in an effort recapitalize banks after the financial crisis, and to spur lending.