There was very little consensus among P&I Online readers in last week's poll, aside from the fact that more than half the readers expect the Federal Reserve to taper its quantitative easing program before midyear 2014.
It was a close call between those who believe the Fed will pull back from buying Treasuries in either the first quarter, which received 26.6% of responses, or in the second quarter, which received 24.2% of responses.
When it came to the later part of 2014, most readers were not inclined to believe the Fed would begin tapering then. Only 13.5% of readers selected the third quarter and 10.6% selected the fourth quarter. In fact, the P&I Online audience was more inclined to believe tapering would begin in 2015 or beyond than the second half of 2014. The third most common response was 2015 or later, with 21.3% of the votes.
On the flip side, only 3.8% of respondents selected 2013 for when the Fed would begin cutting bond buying.
Federal Reserve chairman nominee Janet Yellen, speaking Nov. 14 before the Senate Banking Committee, indicated she is unlikely to support tapering QE soon. Later this week, the minutes from the October Federal Open Market Committee meeting will be released to the public. It will shed further light on when to expect tapering of quantitative easing.
Meanwhile, the stock markets remain bullish. The S&P closed Nov. 15 up more than 28% since the start of the year.