Morning Briefing: Fed, Greece dominate market sentiment

Fed, Greece dominate market sentiment... AIG ruling could mean the end of bailouts... Walmart accused of using charitable foundation to ease store openings... US-EU trade deal runs into hurdles...

Steve Randall
Fed, Greece dominate market sentiment
World markets are dominated Tuesday by two events; the Fed’s monetary policy meeting and Greece’s failed debt talks. Although the Fed is unlikely to announce a sudden increase in interest rates at the end of the two-day meeting, there should be an indication of the likelihood of a rate rise in September. Greek debt talks broke down at the weekend and there are no significant developments expected before a meeting of Europe’s finance ministers Thursday. Major European markets are all lower so far Tuesday. Asian markets have suffered from a sell-off this week and major indexes closed lower.

US stock futures are trending lower. Oil is trending mixed (Brent lower at $63.79, WTI higher at $59.76 at 6.10am ET) Gold is trending lower.
Today’s data
FOMC meeting begins
Housing starts at 8.30am ET
Redbook at 8.55am ET
Adobe, La-Z-Boy and Urban Barns Food are among the companies reporting results today.
AIG ruling could mean the end of bailouts
A judge at the US Court of Federal Claims ruled Monday that the government’s bailout of insurance giant AIG was too “draconian” and should have been more generous to the company’s shareholders. The bailout in 2008 saw the Fed take control of the “too big to fail” business and eventually return a healthy $20 billion profit for taxpayers. Judge Thomas C. Wheeler said in his ruling that a better offer for shareholders should have been tabled. The New York Times says that it could make such bailouts illegal for future financial crises.
Walmart accused of using charitable foundation to ease store openings
A complaint filed Monday alleges that Walmart used its tax-exempt status to make donations in order to ease store openings in urban areas. Reuters reports that the complaint to the IRs was filed by a group of labor and community groups claiming that donations from the Walmart Foundation “spiked” around efforts to open new stores in Los Angeles and New York. Walmart says the allegations lack merit and that it takes IRS regulations “very seriously.”
US-EU trade deal runs into hurdles
The ongoing talks for a trade deal between the US and the EU are not entirely smooth-running. The European side is complaining of inflexibility of the US side and is not even united among its own members. The two sides are due to meet in Belgium next month but experts are doubtful of a deal being reached until later in the decade.