NEW YORK (TheStreet) — All eyes were on the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to see whether it would drop the word “patient” from its policy statement and if it plans to hike interest rates in the not-so-distant future.
The Fed did drop “patient” from its statement, but appears unlikely to hike rates any time soon.
Investors are ready for the hike, though, as it has been widely discussed and now expected, Stephen Weiss, founder and managing partner of Short Hills Capital Partners, said on CNBC’s “Fast Money Halftime” show. He did acknowledge, however, that the market could have a quick move lower now that the Fed has removed the word “patient” from its statement.
After that, the markets will be “off to the races,” he added.
Forget one rate hike this year, according to Paul Richards, head of rates, credit distribution and foreign exchange at UBS, who said the Fed could raise interest rates as many as three times this year. Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is a “master at appeasing markets,” Richards added, but she could raise rates in June, October and possibly December if the economic data justify it. The Fed wants to have flexibility and will likely maintain a wait-and-see approach when it comes to raising interest rates, Jon Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com, said. Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners, had a different take, saying he doesn’t expect the Fed to raise rates at all in 2015. The Fed seems likely to remain “relatively dovish” and wants to hike rates at a reserved pace, according to Joe Davis, chief economist at Vanguard. Investors should stay invested in the market, despite possible short-term volatility. Ultimately, it woud be a positive to see a rate hike, because it would mean the economy is getting stronger. The recent volatility has created for some good buying opportunities, said Pete Najarian, co-founder of optionmonster.com and trademonster.com. The Fed will likely raise rates in 2015, but he doesn’t expect it to do so as many as three times. That will be too much for investors to tolerate. Must Read: Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Stock Buys