Futures traders are stepping up the pressure on the Fed to ease the pace of interest rate increases.
Amid the latest round of market turmoil this week, the market has lowered the probability of an interest rate hike when the central bank's policymaking body meets this month. They've also reduced the chances of future increases, figuring that even if the Federal Open Market Committee approves another quarter-point move higher on Dec. 19, there only will be one more before it stops.
"How the FOMC chooses to react will greatly determine whether the expansion continues or rolls into recession," Steven Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, said in a note. "The choice will be to pause: there is no inflation surge to chase down and there are headwinds aplenty."
The Fed currently holds its benchmark funds rate, which banks charge each other for short-term lending, at a target between 2 percent and 2.25 percent.