The Fed is pointing to a December hike, unless the economy fumbles or markets are roiled by overseas events or even the U.S. election.
"I think they're setting up for December, unless things go off the rails. Now there are three dissenters, and I think that's pretty unusual, and it shows you they are really ready to go," said John Canally, economist and market strategist at LPL Financial.
The Fed held rates steady on Wednesday but said the economy had improved and indicated it is closer to hiking interest rates.
The three officials who dissented over the Fed's decision to keep rates unchanged were Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Kansas City Fed President Esther George and a new voice in the hawk chorus — Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren.
"They would like to go in December. Rosengren's dissent is interesting. ... He's worried about financial stability aspects of keeping rates low, to the point where he's willing to dissent," said John Briggs, head of strategy at RBS.