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The Dow Jones news today focuses on the FOMC meeting and whether the Fed will hike interest rates again. The Nasdaq is also poised to fall from its record high after Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) disappointed on its earnings report.
Here are the numbers from Tuesday for the Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq:
|Index||Previous Close||Point Change||Percentage Change|
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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 Five Top Stock Market Stories for Wednesday
- Dow Jones futures projected a 16-point decline this morning as the markets await a statement from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this afternoon. The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will conclude its two-day meeting on monetary policy in a few hours. The central bank is not expected to hike interest rates in May, but markets are still focused on the discussion about potential rate hikes later this year. Investors largely believe that the Fed will take action on rates again in June, but many remain uncertain if the Fed is satisfied enough with the state of the U.S. labor market and the inflation rate to warrant additional hikes. The U.S. dollar is sliding ahead of today's Fed statement.
- While most Americans are waiting for Congress to provide new options for healthcare reform, tax reform, and immigration reform, legislators spent Tuesday grilling airline executives over customer satisfaction and experience. Congress warned United Continental Holdings Inc. (NYSE: UAL) CEO Oscar Munoz and his competitors that it will prepare legislation to increase oversight on the sector unless they address customer complaints.
- In economic news, U.S. private sector growth slowed in April after a huge gain in the month of March. According to Automatic Data Processing (Nasdaq: ADP), U.S. companies created 177,000 new jobs, slightly topping economist expectations. Economists are currently blaming weather for the decline; however, the downturn comes at a vulnerable time for the United States both economically and politically. ADP's announcement came on the same day the human capital management firm reported company earnings. Shares of ADP fell 2.3% despite reporting a 10% jump in profits.
- In another busy day of earnings reports, analysts will fix their eyes on Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB). Facebook stock has surged in recent quarters thanks to strong mobile ad sales and increased revenue growth. But the company has already warned about the possibility that such growth will slow as advertising levels hit their limits.
- Crude oil prices ticked higher this morning on the expectation that U.S. crude inventory levels are falling. However, the price of oil remains vulnerable due to news that Libyan production has returned to its highest levels since 2004. The growth in Libyan production has compounded upon increased concerns about rising shale production in the United States and weakening demand in China and other leading economies. The WTI crude oil price today added 0.55%. Brent crude gained 0.67%..
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- Shares of Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) fell more than 1% after the company reported weaker quarterly revenue than analysts had expected. After the bell Tuesday, the company said customers didn't buy as many new iPhones in anticipation of the 10th anniversary of the product's launch.
- Shares of Tesla Inc. (Nasdaq: TSLA) are up slightly ahead of the company's quarterly earnings report later this afternoon. Tesla has been the most painful stock for short sellers this year, as these traders have lost a combined $3.7 billion so far this year betting against Elon Musk's company.
- Shares of Twitter Inc. (Nasdaq: TWTR) are up nearly 1% on Wednesday morning as the social media blogging site tries to maintain its momentum. Shares rallied nearly 4% yesterday after Internet billionaire Mark Cuban said he had been acquiring the stock. "I just started buying recently because I think they finally got their act together with artificial intelligence," Cuban told CNBC. He also said he had been purchasing shares of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN) and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX).
- Shares of FireEye Inc. (Nasdaq: FEYE) rallied more than 15% after the cybersecurity company topped Wall Street earnings forecasts on Tuesday. The firm reported a surprise jump in quarterly sales and a smaller earnings per share loss than anticipated. FireEye reported an EPS loss of $0.09 on top of $173.4 million in revenue. Wall Street consensus expectations called for an EPS loss of $0.24 on top of $163.3 million in revenue.
- Look for additional earnings reports from Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT), Groupon Inc. (Nasdaq: GRPN), 3D Systems Inc. (NYSE: DDD), Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE: YUM), Tableau Software Inc. (Nasdaq: DATA), NXP Semiconductors NV (Nasdaq: NXPI), Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG), Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S), Square Inc. (NYSE: SQ), Cheesecake Factory Inc. (Nasdaq: CAKE), and Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN).
Wednesday's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EDT)
- MBA Mortgage Applications at 7 a.m.
- ADP Employment Report at 8:15 a.m.
- Gallup U.S. Job Creation Index at 8:30 a.m.
- Three-Year Note Announcement at 8:30 a.m.
- 10-Year Note Announcement at 8:30 a.m.
- 30-Year Bond Announcement at 8:30 a.m.
- Treasury Refunding Announcement at 8:30 a.m.
- PMI Services Index at 9:45 a.m.
- ISM Non-Manufacturing Index at 10 a.m.
- EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10:30 a.m.
- FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2 p.m.
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