Stock futures were slightly higher today, but some troubling
economic data could worry investors as the Fed begins its monthly
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.09% at 15,532 and contracts on
(INDEXSP:.INX) rose 0.10% to 1,760.50.
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures gained 0.07% to 3,355.50.
A bevy of economic datapoints comes out today as the Federal
Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting. Retail sales slumped in
September. While economists expected sales to be flat after rising
0.2% in August, actual retail sales fell 0.1% from the month
before. Excluding autos and gas, sales increased 0.4%. Producer
prices fell 0.1% last month.
Still to come is the August S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index,
which is likely to show a 0.7% monthly increase in prices in the 20
cities that it tracks. Home prices were likely 12.4% higher than a
year ago. Also later this morning is this month's consumer
confidence numbers, which are expected to fall to 75 from 79.7 last
month as the government shutdown and furloughs probably weighed on
The results of the FOMC meeting will be announced tomorrow
afternoon. Market watchers are expecting the Fed to hold off on
reducing its monthly bond buying this month as employment
indicators are still weak.
) shares are up just slightly this morning after the company
reported that earnings in the previous quarter were lower than a
year ago. EPS fell by $0.41 to $8.26, but revenue rose 4% to $37.5
billion. Mac sales fell to 4.6 million from 4.9 million. Two new
iPhone models pushed handset sales to 33.8 million, up from 26.9
million in 2012. The decline in margin is mostly attributed to
competition from other Apple products, such as the iPad Mini, which
has a lower margin than the bigger iPad. Overall iPad revenue fell
13% from a year ago. CEO Tim Cook promised on the earnings call
that this holiday season is "going to be an iPad Christmas" thanks
to the recent introduction of new models.
) earnings fell by 19% in the last quarter. The pharmaceutical
giant, still reeling from the loss of exclusivity for Lipitor, saw
profit fall to $0.39 per share from $0.43 per share last year. The
company reduced its earnings guidance for the year by $0.05 to
$2.15 per share.
), the multi-level marketer, beat earnings expectations yesterday
with earnings of $1.41 per share and $1.21 billion in revenue.
At the close of the trading day,
(GRPN) will all report earnings.
Michael Kors Holdings Ltd.
(KORS) rallied 2.7% this morning on news that it will join the
S&P 500 after Friday's close.