Market Insider

Yellen's coming speech a bigger focus for markets than Fed minutes

Q1 GDP firestorm

Minutes from the Fed's last meeting should sound dovish when they are released Wednesday, but markets are already looking ahead to a speech Friday from the central bank's chair, Janet Yellen, for possible new clues on when it could hike rates.

The Fed gave a nod to weather-related weakness in the first quarter after its April meeting, but that statement was also released before a whole batch of disappointing reports including April's retail sales.

LPL Financial economist and strategist John Canally said the key to the central bank minutes, when they are released at 2 p.m. ET, will be what they say about the nature of the first quarter's softness.