The Federal Reserve is expected to unveil some big changes Wednesday afternoon when it releases its statement and new economic projections that could impact the course of markets into 2019.
This arguably could be the most important meeting so far for Fed Chairman Jerome Powell. The Federal Open Market Committee's statement and forecasts, released at 2 p.m. ET, come against a backdrop of market angst, where some market pros fear a recession and see the Fed's policy as part of the problem.
Powell has also been the target of an unprecedented level of criticism from President Donald Trump, who says the Fed's policy could hurt the economy's progress.
The Fed is widely expected to raise interest rates by a quarter point. That would take the Fed funds rate range to 2.25 to 2.50 percent. The Fed is also expected to revise lower its interest rate and economic forecast, and stress that it will base its decisions about further hikes on the economy's progress.
"It's the last big day of the year. But I do think the market is vulnerable to a 'we sold the rumor, maybe we buy the fact' set up. ... Stocks could go up, the dollar goes up, and bonds go down," said Marc Chandler, chief market strategist at Bannockburn Global Forex.
Ahead of the announcement, stocks were higher, the dollar was lower and 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields, which move opposite price, were lower.
Here's what the market pros are watching for: