NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- All eyes were on the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to see whether it would drop the word "patient" from its policy statement and if it plans to hike interest rates in the not-so-distant future.
The Fed did drop "patient" from its statement, but appears unlikely to hike rates any time soon.
Investors are ready for the hike, though, as it has been widely discussed and now expected, Stephen Weiss, founder and managing partner of Short Hills Capital Partners, said on CNBC's "Fast Money Halftime" show. He did acknowledge, however, that the market could have a quick move lower now that the Fed has removed the word "patient" from its statement.
After that, the markets will be "off to the races," he added.
Forget one rate hike this year, according to Paul Richards, head of rates, credit distribution and foreign exchange at UBS, who said the Fed could raise interest rates as many as three times this year. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is a "master at appeasing markets," Richards added, but she could raise rates in June, October and possibly December if the economic data justify it.
Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, had a different take, saying he doesn't expect the Fed to raise rates at all in 2015.
The Fed seems likely to remain "relatively dovish" and wants to hike rates at a reserved pace, according to Joe Davis, chief economist at Vanguard. Investors should stay invested in the market, despite possible short-term volatility. Ultimately, it woud be a positive to see a rate hike, because it would mean the economy is getting stronger.
The recent volatility has created for some good buying opportunities, said Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. The Fed will likely raise rates in 2015, but he doesn't expect it to do so as many as three times. That will be too much for investors to tolerate.
The conversation turned to oil prices, as West Texas Intermediate crude futures sank to another multiyear low.
Oil looks like it's headed into the $30 range and could possibly touch its 2009 low of $32.50 per barrel, according to Mark Benigno, co-director of energy trading at INTL FCStone. Rig counts and capital-spending budgets continue to fall, but production hasn't yet slowed enough.
Benigno expects oil to bottom in the second or third quarter and rally to the $60 to $65 range headed into the first quarter of 2016. Emerging markets and China will be the drivers of demand, he added.
Benigno also pointed out that the current December contract for oil is still near $52 per barrel, substantially higher than current prices.
For their final trades, Jon Najarian is buying SAP (SAP) - Get Report, and Pete Najarian is a buyer of the financial sector. Weiss said to buy iShares Currency Hedged MSCI Germany ETF (HEWG) - Get Report, and Block is a buyer of oil-services stocks.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stock or fund mentioned.