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Pisani: Fed Discussing End of Low Rates Now?

FOMC minutes today: Is this the time to push more aggressively to eliminate the "exceptional and extended" language?

Aside from a lone dissenter, there has not been any indication that the Fed will end its key statement that interest rates "are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for an extended period."

But this may be the meeting where that was discussed more intensively. That would allow the Fed to remove the language altogether at its April 28 or May 23 meeting.

Elsewhere:

March retail same store sales out Thursday: once again, analysts are raising numbers.

RetailMetrics noted that overall analysts are expecting a 6 percent gain in sales, that Easter sales were strong on "broad based strength." Particularly strong upward revisions in department stores; Kohls sales expected up 12 percent, Nordstrom up 10.1 percent.

(See what OptionMonster pros say about Kohls shares.)

The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) said chain store sales for the week ended April 3rd were up 4.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

It's easy to see why optimism is growing: comps are easy, and there was an Easter shift to March this year.

But don't let that make you cynical. The ICSC index is seasonally adjusted and accounts for calendar shifts. Bottom line: sales are improving, not just year over year, but even against last month.

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