Fed Chair Janet Yellen is expected to attempt to balance the central bank's stated goal of raising interest rates against the risks of a weaker global economy.
Yellen is scheduled to testify on the economy before congressional committees Wednesday and Thursday. She is likely to be asked about everything from rate hikes to banking reform. But her bigger audience will be world financial markets, rattled by the fact that the Fed's forecast continues to show rate hikes as markets gyrate over fears of a weakening world outlook and divergent central bank maneuvering.
The Fed chair is in a tight spot, with markets wary of Fed policy to normalize rates, while other major central banks have turned to increased easing and even negative interest rates. She begins speaking before the House Committee on Financial Services at 10 a.m. ET Wednesday. Her comments will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Stocks were sharply higher ahead of her testimony Wednesday, and the dollar rose. Treasury yields were also higher, with the 2-year yield at 0.72 percent.