Investors are paying close attention to the Fed’s decision about slowing the pace of their $85 billion monthly bond purchases that have helped to reduce long term interest rates and stimulate the economy in its third round of quantitative easing (QE3).
U.S stock indexes are trading around 1 percent of their record highs as the holiday shopping season winds down amid a brightening economic outlook led by steady improvements in employment and manufacturing.
Yesterday one of the main fiscal roadblocks was removed after 12 Republicans joined with Democrats in a 67-33 vote to defeat a GOP filibuster threat, clearing the way for the final passage of a bipartisan budget bill in the Democrat-majority Senate with a vote expected later today.
President Obama is expected to sign the bill if it passes in the Senate.
The bipartisan budget bill passed last week in the House of Representatives and caps spending levels for 2 years while reducing the sequester spending cuts by $63 billion during the same 2 year period.