Federal Reserve officials moved no closer to unwinding their monthly asset purchasing program at the October meeting, pointing instead to "coming months" when a tapering could occur.
According to minutes from the meeting, Open Markets Committee members looked to economic improvement that "would prove consistent with the Committee's outlook for ongoing improvement in labor market conditions and would thus warrant trimming the pace of purchases in coming months."
Investors were watching the minutes primarily for clues as to when the Fed will begin to ease back on quantitative easing.
While the central bank had been holding to a 6.5 percent unemployment rate and 2.5 percent inflation before increasing rates, it had indicated earlier in the year that the $85 billion monthly bond-buying program could get wound down before the end of the year.
In fact, financial markets had been anticipating a September taper but the central bank did not comply.