Stocks are set to rise this morning as the Fed heads into what
could be a historic meeting and the Senate struggles to pass a
bipartisan budget act.
After Friday's mixed session,
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.13% at 15,844.00 before the
opening bell on Monday. After suffering its biggest weekly decline
in almost four months last week,
(INDEXSP:.INX) futures rose 0.06% to 1,781.40.
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.08% to 3,472.75.
The bipartisan Ryan-Murray budget deal that passed through the
House of Representatives so easily is having trouble gaining
Republican support. Several high-profile Republicans have come out
against the deal, which would retract some of the sequester cuts
from earlier this year. Some reports say that the move will have
enough Republican votes to survive a procedural test vote, assuming
all 55 Democrats vote for it.
Today, the Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting where
many economists expect it to incrementally reduce the level of its
monthly asset purchases. A budget deal in Congress and steadily
improving employment data could tilt the voting members of the
Federal Open Market Committee toward scaling back stimulus. Today,
the government reported that inflation is still very tame, which
could support the case for continuing quantitative easing. Consumer
prices were flat in November, and excluding food and energy, prices
only rose 0.2%. The results of the Fed meeting will be released
tomorrow at 2 p.m.
In companies news, shares of
The Boeing Company
) rose 2.25% today as the aerospace company announced yesterday
that it will buy back $10 billion in shares and raise its quarterly
dividend to $0.73 from $0.485 per share.
) will launch video advertisements starting today, giving the
option for advertisers to put video ads into users' newsfeeds
starting on Thursday. Investors appear to favor the move, as the
social network's stock advanced more than 2% on the news. The
Wall Street Journal
that users might gripe about ads automatically playing, but the
sound will be off by default.
Auto makers also advanced today on a European Automobile
Manufacturers Association report that registrations in Europe rose
for the third straight month in November. EU car registrations rose
1.2% to 938,021 vehicles.
) advanced more than 1% on the news.
European stocks are down today despite a far better than expected
result from Germany's ZEW Survey. German financial experts' rating
of current conditions rose to 32.4 points from 28.7 in November.
Business expectations also unexpectedly jumped to a seven-year high
of 62 from 54.6.
Deflation is still a problem, however. It was reported today that
eurozone consumer prices fell 0.1% on a monthly basis in December.
Prices fell 0.9% year-over-year.
Japanese stocks were slightly higher today as the government
announced plans to increase defense spending to counter China's
assertions over Japanese and Korean seas. Over the next five years,
Japan will increase military spending by 2.6%.