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Top financial news today, June 18, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose marginally on Tuesday despite a swath of disappointing data, including higher inflation and poor housing numbers. Wednesday is gearing up to be one of the busiest news days in recent months for the financial markets.
Here's the financial news you need to know to make today profitable:
- Today's the Day: The Federal Reserve will announce at 2 p.m. its plan to manage interest rates, while Janet Yellen holds a press conference on the FOMC meeting at 2:30 p.m. Most investors do not expect any surprises from the June FOMC meeting. The central committee is likely to continue the taper of its bond-purchasing program by $10 billion to $35 billion per month. Meanwhile, the bank is expected to leave interest rates unchanged in an effort to spur more growth in the employment markets.
- Sweetening the Deal: In an effort to appease French officials and beat its rivals in a bidding war, General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) plans to increase its bid for the energy businesses of French engineering group Alstom, according to The Wall Street Journal. Alstom's board will make a decision by Monday between General Electric's bid and a joint offer between Germany's Siemens AG (OTCMKTS ADR: SIEGY) and Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
- The Big Reveal: During a company event in Seattle today, Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is expected to reveal the company's first smartphone. Little is known about the device, but tech experts believe it could feature a 3-D screen, among other innovative features. Yesterday, a number of media outlets reported that AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) earned exclusive rights to provide service for Amazon's new smartphone.
- Japan Reels: Economic conditions in Japan continue to deteriorate, despite continued policy support and central bank action. This morning, the Japanese exports to the U.S. and Asia plunged to their lowest levels in 15 months, with a 2.7% year-over-year decline in May. The news is especially concerning as Japan has relied on exports to bolster demand for its products in the wake of a national sales tax hike that has zapped domestic consumer activity.