Timing The Fed
By Jesse Freund

(Business 2.0) – Everyone knows that the Federal Reserve's next move will be to hike interest rates. The question is, when? Greenspan & Co. believe a weak job market and unused factory capacity show there's still "slack" in the economy. If that remains true when the Open Market Committee meets on March 16, the Fed will stand pat. So keep an eye on the employment reports (see page 38) and the Fed's capacity utilization stats (released on March 15). In the past, capacity was considered tight when utilization topped 81 percent. Recently it has offered plenty of cushion at 76 percent.