For those hoping for a definitive word from the Federal Reserve on where interest rates will go next, Chairman Ben Bernanke didn't provide it on Monday. But his speech may well have signaled that the Fed is more likely to continue to raise rates in the near future than lower them. In a highly anticipated speech before the Economic Club of New York, Bernanke essentially said that in determining where interest rates would go from here, the Fed would need to take a wait-and-see policy -- taking into account as much data as possible. Rates could go higher or lower depending on the data and how policymakers interpret it, he said. "The information is not always easy to extract and -- as in the current situation -- the bottom line for policy appears ambiguous," Bernanke said. "Given this reality, policymakers are well advised to follow two principles familiar to navigators throughout the ages: First, determine your position frequently. Second, use as many guides or landmarks as are available." But Bernanke, who said he was speaking for himself and not for the Fed, seemed more inclined to continue monetary restraint. The focus of his speech was on how the Fed should respond to the recent inversion of the interest rate yield curve. Typically, interest rates are higher on long-term bonds and loans than on short term ones. But in recent weeks, the effective rates on longer-term Treasury notes have fallen below those of short-term ones. In the past, such inversions have been associated with economic slowdowns and recessions. But Bernanke said the evidence suggests that the inversion was the result not of the market expecting an economic slowdown, but of investors becoming increasingly confident in the long-term economic outlook and of certain special circumstances, such as the global glut of savings.