Financial markets awaiting any Fed signal on rates

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The presence or absence of two key words could signal investors Wednesday on the Federal Reserve's interest rate plans.

The Fed will issue a statement after wrapping up a two-day meeting and the phrase that investors will be alert for is "considerable time" as they search for clues about the timetable for a change in a key short-term rate. The Fed has kept that rate at a record low since December 2008.

Since March, the Fed has said it expects to keep this rate near zero for a "considerable time" after it stops buying Treasurys and mortgage bonds. Those purchases are set to end in November.

It could sub out that phrase in this week's statement. Or it could wait until its next meeting in October.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen will also be pressed when she meets with reporters later to clarify the Fed's intentions.

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