Start the conversation
The biggest Fed question on investors' minds remains "Will the Fed raise interest rates?" – and their next chance to do so is at next week's two-day policy meeting that ends Sept. 17.
This year, the Fed has been adamant about raising interest rates for the first time since 2008. As recently as July, it looked to be almost certain the rate hike would occur in September.
That is, of course, until the market hit an extreme patch of volatility in August.
Thanks to worries about China's stock market, the Dow Jones fell 13.4% from July 20 through Aug. 25. The Nasdaq and S&P 500 were down 13.5% and 12.2% in the same time frame, respectively.
Now, there is a division among U.S. Federal Reserve officials on whether to raise rates next week, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Those calling for increasing interest rates point to the U.S. job market. The U.S. jobs report from August showed that unemployment in the United States hit 5.1%, a seven-year low. At the same time, job openings hit 5.8 million in July, showing an increased need for workers.
One of the arguments against an interest rate hike, however, is hourly wage growth in the United States. According to The Washington Post, hourly wage growth has grown at roughly 2% annually since the 2008 financial crisis. However, Yellen has previously stated that a 3% to 4% growth rate was more optimal.
Those looking for an answer to the question "Will the Fed raise interest rates?" likely won't receive one until the actual meeting. Fed officials have now entered their self-imposed blackout period, when they cut off communication with the media ahead of the meeting.
And while the September interest rate increase is in question, there's still a chance the Federal Reserve hikes rates at some point in 2015. Fed officials will meet again in October and December. A small hike should occur at one of the three meetings.
For investors, here's what that means for stocks…