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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is rallying early Wednesday ahead of today's critical announcement by the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates.
Despite outrage from U.S. President Donald Trump, the central bank is expected to hike interest rates for the fourth time in 2018, raising concerns that the Fed will put a halt on America's economic expansion and rattle investor confidence for the balance of the year.
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Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
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Now here's a closer look at today's most important market events and stocks, plus Wednesday's economic calendar.
The Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will announce the central bank's decision on interest rates this afternoon. Powell is expected to speak on the state of the U.S. economy and inflation during his final press conference of the year. The situation is difficult for Powell and his team. Should the Fed not raise rates, some believe that another sell-off could occur on signs that the central bank believes the economy is softening.
- In deal news, two major pharmaceutical giants announced plans to merge their healthcare businesses. GlaxoSmithKline Plc. (NYSE: GSK) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) will create a new company that produces about $12.7 billion in combined sales. GSK popped 6.2%, while PFE shares added 1.5% this morning.
- Elon Musk is at it again. Today, the Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) CEO unveiled his Boring Company tunnel and promised a future of high-speed transportation. Musk said that the first testing tunnel runs around 1.14 miles and cost $10 million to construct. Musk founded the company two years ago after he grew increasingly frustrated by the congestion of Los Angeles traffic. Boring Company signed a $17 million deal with the city of Chicago in June to create a 17-mile, high-speed transit system between O'Hare International Airport and the city's downtown district.
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Three Stocks to Watch Today: GIS, FDX, GE
- Shares of General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) popped 4.2% after the company reported earnings before the bell. Despite news that the firm fell short of revenue expectations, the food company topped earnings estimates by reporting $0.85 per share. That figure topped expectations by $0.04. The firm also reported stronger-than-expected sales thanks in part to its recent acquisition of pet products manufacturer Blue Buffalo.
- Shares of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) stock plunged nearly 8% after the company announced it lowered guidance for 2019 over concerns about global trade and economic growth in Europe. That downturn came despite news that the firm beat earnings expectations by $0.09 (reporting $4.03 per share) and topped revenue expectations.
- As we've told our readers, 2019 is going to be an explosive year for the markets with more than 10 companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more listing their initial public offerings. But get ready for a very critical listing that will test the future of the General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) brand. The conglomerate announced it filed confidentially for an IPO for its GE Healthcare division.
- Look for earnings reports from Paychex Inc. (NASDAQ: PAYX), Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE: PIR), Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD), and Winnebago Industries Inc. (NYSE: WGO).
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