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Rate Hikes Off The Table

Has the Fed changed its tune? Are we imagining things or did Ben Bernnake hint that interest rates aren’t going anywhere?

Dismal data on inflation and retail sales released on Tuesday triggered new worries about the the U.S. economy.

"The possibility of higher energy prices, tighter credit conditions, and a still-deeper contraction in housing markets all represent significant downside risks to the outlook for growth," Fed chief Ben Bernanke said in remarks to the Senate Banking Committee.

Bernanke also said the slumping housing market was "the most critical and central issue that we face," because it held the key to consumer spending as well as banks' financial health.

What does the "Fed speak" mean for interest rates?

The idea of a rate hike has really been pushed off, says CNBC’s Steve Liesman on Fast Money. I don’t think we’ll see one until late this year or early next year.

Any advice for traders?

I’m dollar bullish, Liesman replies, because I think there is going to be more weakness in Europe than is currently baked into the system right now.

I agree with you, says international trader Tim Seymour. I’d get long the dollar against the euro. Or I would short the financial services sector and maybe get long a few best of breed names.

Expect more of the same on Wednesday.

The Fed Chief answers questions from the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday. Steve Liesman will be listening closely. We'll have more beginning on Squawk Box.


















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Trader disclosure: On July 15, 2008, the following stocks and commodities mentioned or intended to be mentioned on CNBC’s Fast Money were owned by the Fast Money traders; Macke Owns (USO), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (WMT), (ATVID); Adami Owns (AGU), (C), (BTU), (GS), (INTC), (MSFT), (NUE); Seymour Owns (AAPL), (F), (INTC), (MER), (MSFT), (TSO); Seygem Asset Management Owns (EEM), (VIP); Terranova Owns (YHOO), (INTC), (RIMM),(SU), (VLO), (IYT), (XLF), (LUV), (BNI), (CME), (GOOG), (FCX); Terranova Is Short 30 Year U.S. Bond Futures (Sept.); Terranova Owns Dollar Index Futures (Sept.); Terranova Owns (SA)

Terranova is chief alternatives strategist at Phoenix Investment Partners; Phoenix Investment Partners Owns (IGE), (DBC), (DBV), (RWX), (AMZN), (AAPL), (ABT), (AMD), (ATI), (AW), (BA), (BAC), (BNI), (BSC), (BUD), (C), (CHK), (COH), (COP), (CSX), (CSCO), (CME), (CVX), (DAL), (DNA), (DVN), (FCX), (FNM), (FRE), (GOOG), (GS), (HAL), (HOT), (HES), (IBM), (INTC), (ICE), (JNJ), (JNPR), (JPM), (LEH), (LUV), (M), (MEE), (MON), (MOS), (MS), (MSFT), (NCC), (NUE), (NYX), (NDAQ), (OC), (PBR), (POT), (RBN), (RSG), (RIMM), (SU), (SUN), (SWKS), (TIE), (TSO), (USB), (VLO), (WB), (X), (XOM), (YHOO)