An anticipated speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on inflation Tuesday stuck to academic theories of the topic without addressing the current economy or Fed rate policy. The speech's failure to address the Fed's "comfort zone" with current rates left investors waiting for Bernanke's appearance before Congress next week. "It did not contain any information that markets would find relevant about the near to medium term path of monetary policy," said Josh Shapiro, chief U.S. economist for MFR.

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