(CNBC) — U.S. stocks gyrated on Tuesday, as equities tracked the price of oil and pondered the impact of lower energy costs and Russia's economic troubles on policy decisions by the Federal Reserve.
Wall Street hears from the Fed on Wednesday, with the central bank gathering to consider the timing and size of interest-rate hikes and whether to reiterate its vow to maintain rates low for a considerable period.
"It's becoming clearer and clearer to them that they are way behind schedule. Every central bank wants to engineer a soft landing, but we're at 30,000 feet and a mile away from the runway," said David Kelly, chief market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds.
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"Whatever they do, it will likely take a backseat to global events and the sharp demand for long-dated Treasuries from safe-haven players and foreign central banks around the world. You can thank, in part, oil," noted Kevin Giddis, head of fixed income capital Markets at Raymond James.