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Fed expected to keep interest rates near zero: Here’s how the headlines can affect your money

Experts expect the central bank to avoid any big moves and keep interest rates near zero.

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Jerome Powell, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, speaks during a Senate Banking Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The markets were largely flat Tuesday, the Fed will wrap up its latest meeting, and the Real ID deadline has been pushed back again. Here's how the headlines could affect your money.

Markets largely flat Tuesday ahead of tech earnings

The S&P 500 closed just a bit below its record high from Monday, falling less than 0.1% Tuesday. The Dow also closed flat and the Nasdaq slid just 0.3%. Markets remained largely unchanged Wednesday morning as traders wait on news from the Federal Reserve.

Federal Reserve's latest meeting ends Wednesday

Investors will hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Wednesday afternoon, after the central bank wraps up its latest meeting. Analysts don't expect the Fed will adjust near-zero interest rates or make other big policy shifts, but Powell will likely face questions about the pace of inflation

Economists say this could be the last meeting before the Fed begins discussing how to roll back the policies undertaken to combat the effects of the pandemic.

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How the Fed's interest rate decisions impact you

Video by Stephen Parkhurst

Real ID deadline extended until 2023

Travelers now have more time to obtain a Real ID-compliant driver's license or state identification card: Homeland Security has extended the deadline to May 3, 2023.

The Real ID requirement was supposed to go into effect in October 2020 but was originally delayed to October 2021 due to the pandemic. Now the government is giving states more time to get their driver's licensing operations up and running.

Still, experts say you should get your Real ID sooner rather than later, especially with travel ramping up.

Words you've heard: earnings report 

An earnings report is a quarterly filing made by publicly traded companies, typically a few weeks after the end of a quarter. These reports include information such as the company's net income, net sale, and earnings per share. Earnings reports from large companies like Tesla, which released its report Monday, and Alphabet and Microsoft, which did so Wednesday, can contribute to big moves in the markets.

Although the daily news can have an impact on your wallet, remember to take a long-term outlook when it comes to decisions on spending, saving, and investing.

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