The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise rates this month, but that's not really what matters.
Here's what does matter:
"What really matters is what they say going forward," said Michael Kushma, chief investment officer for global fixed-income at Morgan Stanley. He noted that there's over a 90% chance the Fed raises rates this month.
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The Fed is undecided on the number of rate hikes it will enact for 2019, as it must watch the economy before making a decision. But beyond that, "What we're expecting is a more dovish intonation to their commentary -- not to say 'we're done tightening or we're going to raise rates once next year," Kushma said. Basically, the 10 year treasury yield is getting low, at 2.85%, pricing in very few rate hikes. But the Fed has to be able to raise rates if the economic data is strong, so while it watches data, the Fed must strike a soothing tone in order to keep the stock market calm. Stocks have gotten hammered of late on fears slowing economy growth.
The problem: "It's very hard for them to be as dovish as the market hopes they will be, which means that, whatever they do tomorrow, could be interpreted negatively by the market."
TheStreet's own Jim Cramer wants the Fed to be very measured as it goes forward.