Last week the focus was squarely on monetary policy, as the Federal Reserve met to consider when to begin winding down its bond buying program. And while it chose to put off the decision, it sent a clear message that is prepared to make such an announcement in November. Chairman Powell went so far as to say the Fed is targeting cessation of the program by the middle of next year if the economy progresses as anticipated. In addition, fully half of the meeting participants indicated that the first hike in the anticipated upcoming rate cycle could occur in 2022. Stocks rallied after the Fed meeting on Wednesday, reversing declines from earlier in the week on jitters related to credit issues in China and the breach of technical support the previous Friday. For the week, the S&P 500® index gained 0.5 percent, halting a two-week slide that took the index lower by 4.0 percent from its September 2nd high. Despite the slightly more hawkish policy outlook, investors took comfort in the Fed’s constructive view on both the economy and inflation. Intermediate bond yields climbed sharply as well. The yield on the ten-year Treasury note soared through resistance, climbing from 1.30 percent prior to the meeting to end the week at 1.45 percent. And, as this week gets underway, is trading at 1.48 percent, its highest level since late June.