World awaits the Fed, oil continues decline
Wall Street closed mixed Tuesday with the Nasdaq the only one of the main indexes to end the day positive; the Dow fell 128 points. Today the world is waiting to hear the thoughts of the Fed’s monetary policymakers and analysts will be listening for the word ‘patient’. It’s widely expected that they won’t hear it, signalling a potential interest rate rise this summer. In Asia markets have closed with gains ahead of the Fed and with some local plus points including Sony’s better-than-expected results for Q4. Europe’s indexes are fairly flat ahead as caution rules in anticipation of the Fed; London’s FTSE has started the day higher but the markets will be watching the UK’s budget announcement at 11.30am GMT (7.30am ET).
US stock futures are trending flat. Oil is trending lower (Brent 53.03, WTI $42.10 at 5.30am ET). Gold is trending lower.
MBA Mortgage Applications at 7.00am ET
EIA Petroleum Status Report at 10.30am ET
FOMC Meeting Announcement and Forecasts at 2.00pm ET
Janet Yellen press conference at 2.30pm ET
General Mills, New York REIT and Veriteq are among the companies announcing results today.
Another major insurer suffers cyber attack
Health insurer Premera announced yesterday that is had been the target of a cyber attack last year with personal data of 11 million customers put at risk. The data that “may have been accessed includes financial and clinical information of current customers but also many past customers dating back to 2002. The FBI is investigating along with a private cybersecurity firm. Regulators have vowed to toughen monitoring of insurers following the Anthem breach.
Boeing in talks to sell 18 fighter jets to Malaysia
Boeing has joined European competitors in a dogfight in the hopes of winning a lucrative 18 plane contract to replace Malaysia’s ageing fleet of fighter aircraft. Boeing’s F/A-18 needs international sales to stay viable but the Malaysian talks may be little more than tire-kicking as the country’s air force chief says it is considering all options and may decide not to replace its current fleet of MiG29’s.
Obama’s hope of stopping inversions takes a twist
The President’s tough words on US firms that acquire firms in nations with lower taxes and move their tax affairs have resulted in an unexpected twist. Smaller US firms are now being targeted by larger foreign firms which then move their new acquisitions to their home nation to benefit from the tax regime.