The Fed put the markets on notice that it wants to move off of its zero rate policy in December, if the economy is strong enough.
The FOMC, as expected, held off from raising interest rates Wednesday. But in a very clear and unusual message, the Fed's post-meeting statement specifically mentioned the December meeting. The committee said in determining whether it will raise rates at its "next meeting," it will assess the progress toward "its objectives of maximum employment and 2 percent inflation."
While Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other officials have made the same statement, the markets had taken conflicting Fed comments as wishy washy and confusing about both the timing and intentions for a rate hike. The Fed's inclusion of its concerns about international developments in its September statement had flustered markets even more.