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A dovish Fed managed to reverse some market perceptions that it would be more aggressive with rate hikes and spun the onus back to the performance of the economy and whether recent sluggishness is just the result of bad winter weather.
Next up on the economy is Thursday's weekly jobless claims, expected at about 320,000, off slightly from 326,000 last week. There are also import prices released at 8:30 a.m. ET, and retailers report monthly chain store sales.
Stocks rocketed and bonds rallied Wednesday at the shorter end of the curve, as traders viewed the Fed's minutes from its March 19 meeting as a sign the Fed would keep its easy rate policy in place for a long time even as it unwinds its bond-buying program. On Thursday morning, stock futures were lower ahead of the open, but the move lower in Treasury yields continued.
"The market's saying they were dovish. The initial reaction (to the meeting) was hawkishness," said John Canally, investment strategist and economist with LPL Financial. "We're now back to focusing on the data. The other key out of this was a large chunk of them said it was the weather. The question came up. Is it the weather? Is it something else? This clearly says it was weather."