The U.S. Federal Reserve's so-called Operation Twist is about to end, but more innovative moves can be expected in a bid to shield the economy from the aftereffects of the "fiscal cliff" or any solution that avoids the mandated spending cuts and tax increases but imposes others. Above all, however, "the bond market is counting on the Fed -- and can keep counting on it -- to hold short-term interest rates near zero for some time to come," said Kathy A. Jones, fixed-income strategist for the Schwab Center for Financial Research.

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