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Dow Jones Today, September 17, 2014: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose Tuesday after investors took a hard look at language used by the U.S. Federal Reserve and expected the central bank to be less hawkish on interest rates in the near term.
Yesterday, the Federal Open Market Committee kicked off a two-day meeting, where the central bank will be under intense scrutiny from investors to determine what action Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and her team will take on interest rates in the next nine months.
The trading session saw its strongest gains in the energy sector, fueled by rising oil prices. Brent crude, priced in London, increased 1.4%, while U.S. crude futures in New York were up 2%. Brazilian energy giant Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (NYSE ADR: PBR) saw shares leap 5.8% on the day.
Here's what else you should know to make your Wednesday profitable:
- The Big News: This afternoon, investors will keep their eyes on the FOMC statement, expected to be released at 2 p.m. EDT. Following the announcement, Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen will speak. Investors will be paying especially close attention to the wording in both statements, as the markets attempt to determine when the central bank might raise interest rates.
- The Big Beat: Shares of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) were up more than 3% in pre-market hours after the company reported strong quarterly earnings this morning. The world's second-largest shipping firm reported a 24% increase in quarterly profits, with higher volumes in its express and ground businesses. The news steals some thunder from its principal rival, United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS), which announced yesterday that it plans to hire 95,000 seasonal workers this holiday season in order to meet rising demand and ensure it is prepared for bad weather should snow and ice arrive with regularity this winter.
- Breaking Up Is Hard to Do: Is one of the nation's top chemical companies about to break up? Yes, if activist investor Trian Fund Management has anything to say about it. According to reports, the fund is now publicly pushing for E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DuPont) (NYSE: DD) to split up after the chemical giant's board refused to listen to calls for changes to its board. The Wall Street Journal reports that Trian owns a $1.6 billion stake in DuPont and has pushed for the breakup for some time.