Fed likely to keep stance on rates and bond buys

WASHINGTON (AP) - One analyst says this week's meeting of the Federal Reserve is of the "wait and watch" variety though the outcome could well be no change in policy.

The meeting begins Tuesday and wraps up tomorrow with a statement, updated forecasts and Chairman Ben Bernanke's latest news conference.

The Fed is likely to repeat its plan to keep short-term interest rates at record lows through 2014. It may also signal that it won't likely launch any new program to lower longer-term rates unless the economy weakens.

That would be a switch from three months ago, when Bernanke and his colleagues ended their January meeting with hints that they were edging closer to a third round of bond buying.

But since then, signs have suggested that the U.S. economy has strengthened. And the European debt crisis looks less dire than when the year began.


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