The Federal Reserve continues to be the
guiding light for stock and bond investors. This week Fed Chair Janet Yellen said in a speech “Given the risks to the outlook, I consider it appropriate for the committee to proceed cautiously in adjusting policy.” Following the last meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on March 15-16, the Fed sharply reduced its projected path of interest-rate rises this year, forecasting a total increase of half a percentage point, down from the full percentage point increase they expected in December. “The major thing that’s changed between December and March that affects the baseline outlook is a slightly weaker projected pace of global growth,” she said. “Global developments pose ongoing risks,” she added, citing specifically the dangers posed by the economic slowdown in China and the collapse in the price of oil, according to reports in the WSJ.