Rates faced upward pressure Wednesday as investors eagerly awaited this afternoon’s Fed policy statement. In economic news, Housing Starts rose by 1% in August to an annual rate of 891,000, below the consensus forecast of 910,000. A decline in multi-family units accounted for the shortfall. No other key economic data will be released today. The Fed statement will come out at 2:00 PM, followed by a press conference by Fed Chairman Bernanke at 2:30. It is expected that we will learn additional details about the timing and scale of Fed tapering of bond purchases, how it will be divided between Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities, and how future purchase reductions will be determined. The Fed will also release its economic forecast for 2016. Extreme rate volatility is possible.