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Watch Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's news conference live

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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell was scheduled to speak at a news conference following this week's two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting. This marks the beginning of the central bank chief meeting with the media after each FOMC meeting, rather than quarterly as had been the past practice.

Powell's words have been under intensified scrutiny since he said on Oct. 3 that the Fed was still a long way from an interest rate that would be neutral for growth. He shook up the market again at his news conference in December when he described the Fed's balance sheet reduction program as being on "autopilot."

Fed officials lately have been expressing caution toward future hikes and stressing data dependence.

Read more:
Odds of a recession spike to a three-year high, according to CNBC's Fed survey
The Fed may be moving closer to ending its rally-killing balance sheet reduction
Lack of data because of shutdown takes pressure off the Fed: 'The default option is dovishness'

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