No taper today: The Fed stands pat

10/30/2013 3:11 pm EST

Focus: STOCKS

Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor, JubakPicks.com

Not now.

As expected the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee decided to hold off on slowing its program of quantitative easing from the current pace of $85 billion a month.

The Fed said it will “await more evidence that progress will be sustained before adjusting the pace of its purchases.”

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg say that the Fed won’t taper off its purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities until its March 19 meeting.

I think today’s non-move leaves U.S. stocks free to rise without Fed worries until the central bank’s December 18 meeting.

The Open Market Committee also left unchanged its statement that it will hold its target short-term interest rate near zero at least as long as unemployment exceeds 6.5% and the outlook for inflation is no higher than 2.5%.  In data released today the Consumer Price Index climbed 0.2% in September after rising 0.1% in August. This measure of inflation hasn’t climbed above a 2% annual rate since March 2012.

The euro, which has been on a tear against the dollar, fell slightly (down by 0.23%) in a sell on the news reaction to $1.3714. The Japanese yen fell against the dollar by 0.45% to 98.63 yen to the dollar.

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