Ahead of today’s Federal Reserve policy decision, stocks are heading for a higher opening, but private sector job growth this month came in far lower than expected.
Today, most economists are not expecting a major decision from the Federal Open Markets Committee regarding quantitative easing, but any hint that it might scale back the $85 billion monthly purchases very soon could have huge effects. The Fed will make its statement today at 2:00 p.m.
Today, two economic indicators relating to the central bank’s dual mandate were released. ADP, the payrolls processor, said that US companies added 130,000 new jobs. Economists expected 150,000. This was even worse than September’s revised 145,000. The consumer price index showed another month of tame inflation. Prices rose 0.2% in September, and excluding food and energy costs, they rose just 0.1%.
US index futures indicated that the mood was bullish before the data releases. After finishing yesterday at a record high, Dow
(INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.28% at 15,659.00. Futures on the S&P 500
(INDEXSP:.INX) gained 0.24% to 1,771.60. Nasdaq
(INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures climbed 0.44% to 3,399.00. Treasuries were higher this morning, with the 10-year yield falling one basis point to 2.49%.
In earnings news, General Motors
(NYSE:GM) beat earnings expectations as North American margins improved, sending shares up. Earnings per share for the automaker came in at $0.96, $0.02 higher than analyst estimates. Revenue disappointed, however, coming in at $38.98 billion. Shares were up 2.75% in the pre-market.
(NYSE:LNKD) beat expectations in the third quarter, but shares of the company fell due to lower forward guidance. The company had a net loss of $3.4 million, down from a $2.3 million net profit a year ago. Adjusted earnings per share were positive at $0.39, up from $0.22 a year ago. Revenue rose 56% to $385 million as users increased 38% to 259 million. Management scaled back guidance due to faster-than-expected growth, and now expects $415 million to $420 million for the current quarter. Shares were down 3.7% in the pre-market.
The massive legal settlement between regulators and JPMorgan Chase
(NYSE:JPM) is falling apart. Sources at the Justice Department told reporters that it will not agree to shield the bank from criminal liabilities that don’t involve mortgage backed securities. It also disagrees with the lender’s bid to recover costs from the FDIC.
After today’s close, Starbucks
(NASDAQ:FB), and Visa
(NYSE:V) are all set to report earnings.
Overseas, European markets were higher as Spain officially came out of recession. October European Economic Sentiment also rose more than expected to 97.8 from 96.9.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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