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With an eye on Greece, investors focus on the Fed

Interest rates will regain central attention on Wednesday as U.S. economic data and the release of the FOMC meeting minutes shed further light on when tightening might occur.

“I think the biggest thing is the minutes of the Fed meeting,” said Randy Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives at Charles Schwab. He said the “safest thing is to stay away from (the Greece situation).”

Another important data point released on Wednesday is industrial production for January at 9:15 a.m.. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the key capacity utilization rate, which measures slack in a firm, to edge up slightly from December to 79.9 percent.

Aside from the strong monthly jobs report nearly two weeks ago, last week’s economic data was mostly disappointing, with misses in both retail sales and jobless claims. To be sure, some analysts pointed out that the overall trend is still positive.

The Producer Price Index report at 8:30 a.m. will shed light on inflation, the second key ingredient that the Fed watches besides employment when determining a rate hike.


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