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.