Markets mixed on Fed’s more hawkish tone
Yesterday’s monetary policy announcement by the Fed was largely as expected with the ending of the quantative easing program and a renewal of the message that interest rates are to stay near zero for some time. What wasn’t expected was a more upbeat tone on the labor market with a hawkish tone noted as the word ‘significant’ was dropped from talk of slack in employment. That has led some analysts to believe that the Fed could in fact make interest rate increases sooner. Asian markets have reacted today with mixed sentiment; Japan has seen the highest gains on optimism that the stronger the US economy is, the better Japanese exports will be. European markets were also mixed after the Fed’s announcement but some positive corporate earnings have pushed markets generally higher so far this morning. US stock futures are mostly higher while gold and oil are both lower.
GDP figures 8.30am ET
Weekly jobless claims figures at 8.30am ET.
Janet Yellen speaks at 9am ET
Bloomberg Consumer Comfort index at 9.45am ET
Kellogg Co, LinkedIn and Starbucks are among those reporting today.
Visa profits higher and mobile payments is set to boom
The world’s largest credit and debit card firm posted better than expected quarterly results yesterday. Visa’s net income was up 14 per cent in Q3 resulting in earnings of $2.18 per share against forecasts of $2.10. The firm also announced a $5 billion share buyback scheme and forecast double-digit revenue growth in 2015. Visa shares were up 4 per cent in extended trading to $223. Read the full story.
Billionaires double since crisis
The number of billionaires has doubled since the financial crisis according to a report from global charity Oxfam. There are now 1,645 billionaires in the world; in 2009 there were 793. The charity is highlighting wealth inequality and points out that the richest 85 people in the world saw their wealth grow by $668 million per day from 2013-14. Oxfam suggests that a 1.5 per cent tax levied on wealth over $1 billion would raise enough money to send every child to school and provide healthcare for the poorest countries. Read the full story.
Samsung to fight back against Apple
Samsung has announced it is to revamp its smartphone range in a bid to recover from a slide in sales. The firm is being squeezed by low cost rivals including Lenovo but its biggest competitor is Apple who are leading the way in the higher-end market. Third quarter operating profits at Samsung fell 60 per cent. Analysts are predicting that the lower end smartphone market will grow faster in the coming year; a market that Samsung is in that Apple is not; however it is planning to ensure high-quality of its low cost phones to set it apart from budget models.
US home loans at lowest level since February
New figures from The Mortgage Bankers Association show that in the week ended Oct. 24 new home loans were at their lowest level since February. New mortgages were down 15 per cent on the same week in 2013. Part of the story is the decline in ‘jumbo’ loans above $417,000 which is the Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac limit. Refinancing loans are also lower. Read the full story.