Stocks are higher again today as investors prepare for the
Federal Reserve's monetary announcement this afternoon.
S&P 500 futures are up about 0.1 percent this morning,
following a gain of 1.7 percent in the first two sessions of the
week. Europe is also posting small gains, while Asian markets were
modestly lower overnight.
Stocks have rebounded sharply after pulling back to key support
from late 2013 and early 2014. They've been supported by ample cash
on the sidelines, an improving economy, and a benign macro backdrop
with low inflation and little political risk. The most recent
threat to that order--turmoil in Crimea--passed into the rear-view
mirror yesterday morning, and buyers jumped into stocks.
Attention now turns to the Fed at 2 p.m. ET. While economists
expect the central bank to trim its bond purchases by $10 billion a
month, it isn't clear what the market wants to hear beyond that.
Hawkish language, for instance, might be viewed as a vote of
confidence in the broader economy and spur bullish sentiment. Trade
numbers also come out at 8:30 a.m. and crude-oil inventories follow
two hours later.
analysis tool shows strength across the broader market, but
investors have recently favored companies tied to the burgeoning
domestic-energy industry. Mortgage servicers, once-hot growth
stocks that plunged early this year, have also been rebounding in
recent weeks. In addition, semiconductors have started to perform
and have seen increasingly bullish option activity.
In company-specific news, database leader Oracle and delivery giant
FedEx are both down about 2 percent after earnings and revenue
missed forecasts. SolarCity also inched lower on weak guidance.
Adobe Systems beat expectations but hasn't traded yet this morning.
Other companies reporting quarterly results this morning include KB
Home and General Mills. Cintas, Jabil Circuit, and ExOne follow
after the closing bell.
Oil and metals are down fractionally, and European Brent crude,
copper, and gold are off more than 0.5 percent. Agricultural
products are also posting small losses.
Foreign-exchange trading is more bullish as the Japanese yen
weakens across the board.
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