Whether the Fed raises rates or not, markets may move more on its words than actions.
Traders have been betting against a central bank rate hike, so news of such an increase could get a negative response. But some say markets would be more relieved in the event of a rate rise if the Fed assures a slow path higher for rates, and it could do that in the interest rate forecasts of its members and again in its post-meeting news briefing. The markets will also seek a clear explanation of why the Fed did not hike, if it holds rates steady.
"It will be a case of watch what they say, not what they do," said Jim Caron, fixed income portfolio manager at Morgan Stanley Investment Management.