WASHINGTON – Jan. 27, 2016 – Volatile stock and oil markets have some investment strategists looking for the Federal Reserve to step in with a balm Wednesday by signaling more modest rate hikes this year than it had planned.

But economists say the Fed is likely to acknowledge the global and market turbulence without indicating a change in course, especially with the economy turning in blockbuster job growth.

"They don't want to tip their hand one way or another because they don't know," says Barclays economist Michael Gapen.

Futures markets give virtually no chance the Fed will raise its key interest rate after a two-day meeting, but analysts will scour its post-meeting statement for clues on future increases.

Last month, the central bank lifted its federal funds rate by one-quarter percentage point, its first hike in nearly a decade, and projected it will continue to raise rates gradually, by another percentage point this year. Fed officials partly attributed the cautious approach to low inflation and weakness overseas.

Economists figured that blueprint called for the next quarter-point rate increase in March, with three more similar hikes in 2016. So far this year, however, news on China's slowdown has become more dire, oil prices have tumbled further, and stocks are down about 6 percent, even after a recent rally. The dollar has continued to strengthen, which could further douse inflation.

By slowing growth and inflation, Morgan Stanley reckons, these developments already have had the effect of four rate hikes.

Money Manager Patrick Adams of Choice Investment Group wrote to clients the Fed on Wednesday should do "some serious back-peddling" on its outlook and rate increases. Some analysts expect only two hikes in 2016.

Copyright © 2016, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Paul Davidson. Contributing: Adam Shell