by Rick Delgado
on Monday, December 17th, 2012 at 4:29pm.
UNCERTAINTY TAKES ITS TOLL... There are just two weeks to go for politicians to broker a deal to stop the country from going over a fiscal cliff of draconian tax hikes and spending cuts. Unfortunately, Washington isn't proceeding with much urgency. Investors reacted poorly to the uncertainty as all three major stock indexes slipped for the week. Not helping things, the economic data was mixed, as inflation cooled and Industrial Production beat expectations, but Retail Sales missed consensus targets.
The big news came out of the Fed meeting on Wednesday. The Fed Funds Rate wasn't touched, but the FOMC Committee announced it would now keep the Rate at these super low levels as long as unemployment stays above 6.5%. Most economists think that will be a very long time. To support this policy, once the current "Operation Twist" bond buying program ends, the Fed will start purchasing $45 billion worth of Treasuries each month, indefinitely.