NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- News? What news? After a brief rally following the release of the Federal Reserve's October minutes, stocks fell back as investors concluded that the central bank hadn't really signaled anything new about interest rate policy.
For Fed watchers, it was the same playbook from the past few months: inflation remains a concern, there's still bickering as to when the central bank should raise interest rates, and members promise to keep an eye out for curveballs from global markets.
"I don't think there were any surprises," Wells Fargo's chief fixed income strategist Brian Rehling said on a call. "There was no specific discussion about when the Fed might remove the 'considerable time' language, although it was mentioned but no hints as to if that will come at the next meeting and definitely no hints regarding when interest rates may begin to increase."
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As for the all-important rate hike timetable, the Fed appeared comfortable with raising interest rates next year, given their bond-buying program has concluded. Some members argued for a removal of the "considerable time" range phrasing which has accompanied recent statements, noting that it would be "helpful to include new language in the Committee's forward guidance to clarify how the Committee's decision about when to begin the policy normalization process will depend on incoming information about the economy."
"Many participants observed the committee should remain attentive to evidence of a possible downward shift in longer-term inflation expectations," the statement read. "Some of them noted that if such an outcome occurred, it would be even more worrisome if growth faltered." Members said inflation was likely to edge lower in the short term, farther from the Fed's 2% target, though would pick up again in the medium term.