Quantitative unease

The Fed statement looks taperific to markets

The just-issued Fed statement looks like a sign that the US central bank is still leaning toward tapering off its bond buying program—at least judging by the market reaction.

Stocks slumped, which is consistent with ongoing diffidence over whether the economy can keep powering forward on its own steam with slightly less help from the central bank.

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And prices of bonds—which the Fed buys as part of its effort to push money into the system through quantitative easing—fell, pushing yields on bonds sharply higher.

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These initial reactions could change depending on what Fed chairman Ben Bernanke says in his press conference, which is now underway.

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