"If it's revised at all I think it would be marginal," said Ward McCarthy, chief financial economist at Jefferies. "What matters is we've seen progressively faster GDP growth this year—1.1 [first quarter] to 2.5 [second quarter] to 3.6, and right now I'm at 2.7 for the fourth quarter. I'd be very surprised if that' didn't figure into the Fed's thinking."
Traders have been eyeing the yield curve, which was getting flatter Thursday with 5-year notes trading as high as 1.7 percent. The 10-year yield also crept higher, to as high as 2.95 percent and was at 2.93 percent in late afternoon.
"They got whacked," McCarthy said. "One possible interpretation of that [move in the 5-year] is that the market's comfortable that the Fed's not going to raise rates out for two years but less comfortable beyond that. But then issues out the curve have been trading better because I think primarily the size of the taper was pretty moderate. The worst anxieties were not realized."
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Stocks meandered Thursday after surging to record highs Wednesday following the Fed's announcement that it would trim its $85 billion a month bond-buying program by $10 billion. The Fed also sought to reassure the market by stressing that it would keep short-term rates low for a long time.
But Adrian Miller at GMP Securities said the bond market senses that the Fed may move up the timing for raising short-term rates to mid-2015. That has created some of the action in the middle of the curve, he added.
"I think it might be a delayed reaction to the Fed's announcement yesterday with an understanding that in this forward guidance we heard yesterday, I think the Fed is going to try to unwind a little faster than we anticipate," said Miller, who is GMP's director of fixed-income strategy.
Miller said the market is also less liquid at this time of year, which would exaggerate moves.
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Perhaps the most dramatic market response to the Fed's action was in the gold market. February gold futures plummeted over 3.3 percent, to a more than 3-year low of $1,193.60 per troy ounce.