Now that the Federal Reserve has crossed the Rubicon into its next round of monetary stimulus, the only question for investors Thursday seemed to be what's next.
Markets reacted jubilantly to the Wednesday announcement that the Fed would be adding another $600 billion to its $2.3 trillion balance sheet. Stocks in both US and foreign markets soared as did commodities, while Treasury prices, particularly in the five- and 10-year notes, also jumped.
The action was all a result of what the Fed calls quantitative easing, a process in which the central bank designates a quantity of assets it will buy which hopefully eases credit conditions through lower rates. The program is known as QE, with the second round called QE2.
So with QE2 out of the way and the market ready to ride the Fed's momentum, talk immediately switched to when the economy will see future QE implementations that some market pros think are little more than an inevitability.
"They're already talking about QE3," said Dave Rovelli, managing director of US equity trading for Canaccord Adams. "Eventually we're going to be printing so much money the dollar is going to really go down and everybody's going to try to deflate their currency against us. I just don't know how this could end well."