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Some companies report quarterly earnings in the morning, after the markets open. Some report in the afternoon, after the markets close. - 

The Federal Reserve committee that sets U.S. monetary policy meets today and tomorrow.

The Fed has been buying bonds and securities off and on since 2008, and has said it will continue to do so until conditions in the labor market "improve substantially."

In addition, two of the more "dovish" members of the Fed Board rotate into voting positions in the new year.

What does this mean for investors and the general public in the year ahead?

"It's going to be more easy money going to the policy committee,"  says Juli Niemann, analyst with Smith Moore and Company. "The inflation hawks are flying off, and they're really concerned about unemployment now."

If the inflation rate stays below 2 percent, Niemann adds, we're likely to continue to see policies encourage such "easy money."