The next scheduled meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the Federal Reserve panel that sets interest-rate policy, will be two days, instead of the previously scheduled single day. That's apparently so that new Fed chairman Ben S. Bernanke, who also chairs the FOMC, will have more time to discuss strategy with the panel's members.
It also might mark a halt in the steady rise in the influential federal funds target rate since June 2004. After 14 consecutive 25-basis-point increases, the target is now at 4.5%.
The next FOMC meeting is slated to begin on the afternoon of Monday, Mar. 27 and continue on Tuesday, Mar. 28.