Stock Market Today: FOMC Meeting in Focus

Stock market today, April 29, 2014: Tuesday sets up to be an interesting day for the markets as the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) kicks off its two-day meeting. The markets were mixed yesterday, while shares of tech-giant Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) struck a 52-week high.

Here's what you need to know to make your Tuesday profitable.

Five Biggest Stories in Today's Stock Market, April 29, 2014

  • The Taper Continues: The Federal Open Market Committee kicks off its second meeting this morning with Janet Yellen at the helm. Yellen will speak on Thursday at 8:30 a.m. and set the course for monetary policy over the next two months, including an answer on the Fed's tapering plans. We expect the Federal Open Market Committee to stay the course and maintain its current policy. Current projections for GDP growth sit at 1% in quarter-over-quarter annualized growth in Q1 2014.
  • Killing the Dividend: Shares of Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE: HLF) rose in after-hours trading on news that the company beat Wall Street estimates on first-quarter results and raised its outlook. The company also announced it would eliminate its dividend. We expect for activist investor Bill Ackman to continue his crusade, claiming that the company is part of a massive Ponzi scheme.
  • Taking It to the Skies: Nothing is up in the air about this decision. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) announced plans to launch a high-speed 4G LTE-based Wi-Fi network for airline passengers by late 2015. The company says the service would improve speed and reliability for airline passengers, a primary complaint of business travelers these days.
  • Debt Stabilization: According to reports, the U.S. Treasury plans to expunge $78 billion in debt in the third fiscal quarter. This is almost double its February projection that the government would pay off $40 billion. The huge lot is the highest level of debt the U.S. government has paid off since April to June 2007.
  • It Was Inevitable: The airline industry has finally put a price tag on overhead bins when you fly. This week, Frontier Airlines announced a new fee structure that requires flyers to purchase certain perks or services a la cart. Flyers may have to pay up to $50 to use an overhead bin. The company is attempting to shift its operations to a low-cost carrier to compete against Spirit Airlines Inc. (Nasdaq: SAVE), which leads the field in low-cost airlines. Moving to this model allows customers to pay only for the services they use, a primary complaint of non-business travelers.

Note: The Fed's 2014 taper means volatility ahead. So we've outlined how to find profits in a volatile market - like triple-digit gains in just days - if you start with this strategy...

Full U.S. Economic Calendar April 29, 2014

  • ICSC-Goldman Store Sales at 7:45 a.m.
  • Redbook at 8:55 a.m.
  • S&P Case-Shiller HPI at 9 a.m.
  • Consumer Confidence at 10 a.m.
  • State Street Investor Confidence Index at 10 a.m.
  • 4-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 52-Week Bill Auction at 11:30 a.m.
  • 2-Yr FRN Auction at 1 p.m.

Key Companies Reporting Earnings April 29, 2014

  • Consensus earnings per share for Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) is $0.79.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (NYSE: ADM) is $0.76.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Cummins Inc. (NYSE: CMI) is $1.67.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Forest Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: FRX) is $0.44.
  • Consensus earnings per share for HCA Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HCA) is $0.85.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) is $0.44.
  • Consensus earnings per share for MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) is $0.09.
  • Consensus earnings per share for LyondellBasell Industries NV (NYSE: LYB) is $1.70.
  • Consensus earnings per share for BP plc (NYSE: BP) is $1.10.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Eaton Corp. (NYSE: ETN) is $1.00.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is $-0.06.
  • Consensus earnings per share for Valero Energy Corp. (NYSE: VLO) is $1.36.

These basics will make you big money in the markets. You'll know more than your friends - even more than most brokers. And you'll start "seeing" the money in the markets...

About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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