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By Jason Stipp and Jeremy Glaser | 03-20-2015 09:00 AM

Friday Five: Fed Guessing Game Continues

The exact timing of an ultimate rate hike shouldn't worry long-term investors. Plus, FedEx outdoes UPS, Oracle stands its ground, and more.

Jason Stipp: I'm Jason Stipp for Morningstar, and welcome to The Friday Five, Morningstar's take on five stories in the market this week.

Joining me with The Friday Five is Morningstar markets editor Jeremy Glaser. Jeremy, thanks for being here.

Jeremy Glaser: You're welcome, Jason.

Stipp: First this week, the Fed did remove the "patient" language from its statement, but there's still a lot a doubt about when exactly rates will increase.

Glaser: By far the biggest story this week was this Fed statement, and we knew that going in. As expected, they got rid of the language that they are going to be patient about raising rates. But in removing that language, they also cast a lot of doubt elsewhere in the statement about when they are going to raise rates, and if it's going to happen anytime soon.

They said they are seeing moderating growth across the economy, that things aren't quite as strong as they were before. They still want to see further improvements in the job market, and they want to see further signs that their 2% inflation target is going to be hit in the medium term. They want to see more signs of that before they start to raise rates, and they said it definitely won't happen at the next meeting.

That still leaves the door open for June. I think that's still a possibility. That's what a lot of people were betting on before this statement. But given a lot of the discussion in the statement about some of the issues holding them back, it seems like it could be later in the year. Even if it still happens in 2015, there are also signs that they may be raising rates over a longer or over a slower period of time, and maybe people thought raises were going to come a little bit faster. So, the market turned around and cheered this news.

As we've said many times before, individual investors shouldn't be that worried about, is it the June meeting, is it the September meeting? The exact timing isn't terribly important. Yes, there's a chance that on the day it actually happens, there will be a big sell-off; there may be some volatility around it. Maybe you should have a watchlist so you're ready to take advantage of some of those sell-offs. But when you think about the long-term big picture, rates are going to have to go up at some point; it's likely going to happen sometime this year, and exactly what meeting it happens shouldn't be material.

Stipp: Although some think shopping malls are dead, mall REIT Simon Property Group is making a bid to get bigger this week.

Glaser: They strongly disagree, and if you look at their fundamentals, particularly at their higher-end properties, you really see that the mall is far from dead in a lot of places.

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