Stocks were just slightly higher today after Congress reached a
House and Senate negotiators including Patty Murray and Paul Ryan
approved a plan that will avoid automatic budget cuts such as the
sequester from earlier this year. As long as the two chambers of
Congress approve it, we can avoid a repeat of the October
government shutdown. Both President Obama and Speaker Boehner
applauded the bipartisan deal. Some Republicans say that the
spending cuts in the deal don't go far enough, however.
The budget deal brings us closer to removing that uncertainty of
another government shutdown, which means that the Federal Reserve
would have less reason to continue its stimulus program. As a
result, global equities have been poor today. Economists surveyed
by Bloomberg said that the Fed will probably begin reducing asset
purchases at their meeting next week.
US stock indices are relatively flat before the opening bell today.
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.05% to 15,986.
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures fell 0.04% to 1,803.80 and futures on the
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) were flat at 3,515.00.
Costco Wholesale Corporation
) reported today that earnings per share for the fiscal first
quarter were $0.96, missing estimates by $0.07. Revenue of $24.47
billion also fell short of expectations. Shares of the discount
retailer fell 1.7% in pre-market trading.
Smith & Wesson Holding Corp
) shares jumped 5.8% this morning after the gun maker reported
fiscal second quarter earnings that exceeded expectations. The
shooting at an elementary school a year ago spurred a national
conversation on gun control, which brought the company a 27%
year-over-year rise in handgun sales. Revenue rose 2% to $139.3
million and EPS came in at $0.28.
) shares fell 1% this morning after it lost a bid to overturn the
European Union's approval of
) acquisition of Skype in 2011. The EU court ruled that the Skype
acquisition does not restrict competition for video conferencing.
) shares rose 4% after the bank card company's board approved an
83% hike in dividends and a 10-for-1 stock split.