Investors are wondering what the Fed may do next, especially amid growing sentiment that the Fed may have erred in not deciding to taper its bond-buying program at its meeting this week. The major averages are coming off modest losses as the Street ponders that issue, but the S&P 500 is nonetheless on track for its best weekly gain in more than two months, since the week ending July 12. The benchmark index is also on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 2011.
There are no economic reports out today, but with the current Fed focus, three speeches today by Fed officials will get plenty of market scrutiny. Kansas City Fed President Esther George, the lone dissenter to Wednesday's policy decision, has a lunchtime speech scheduled. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Naryana Kocherlakota also have speaking engagements today.
The earnings calendar is extremely light today, but we will see the latest quarterly numbers this morning from Darden Restaurants (DRI), the parent of Red Lobster and Olive Garden.
Prudential Financial (PRU) lost its appeal to shed its tag as "systemically important", which subjects it to additional government oversight. The Financial Stability Oversight Council had originally assigned that label to the insurer in July.
AK Steel (AKS) is predicting a wider than expected third quarter loss, with both shipment volumes and prices falling from a year earlier.
Texas Instruments (TXN) raised its quarterly dividend by 7 percent to 30 cents per share. It's the second time this year the chipmaker has raised its quarterly payout.
New York Times (NYT) declared a quarterly dividend of four cents per share, the first time in four that the newspaper publisher has paid a dividend.
Vornado (VNO) will sell 13.4 million shares of J.C. Penney (JCP) through Citigroup. The real estate company had recently said it was planning to shed its investment in the retailer.
Rocket Fuel (FUEL) priced its IPO at 29 dollars per share, at the top of its expected range. The advertising technology firm's shares will begin trading today on the Nasdaq.
Bind Therapeutics (BIND) priced its IPO at 15 dollars per share, in the middle of its expected range. The drug maker's shares will begin trading today on Nasdaq's Global Select Market.
ClubCorp (MYCC) priced its IPO at 14 dollars per share, below the expected range of 16 to 18 dollars per share. ClubCorp owns private golf and country clubs, and its shares will begin trading today on the New York Stock Exchange.
Tibco Software (TIBX) reported fourth quarter profit of 28 cents per share, excluding certain items, beating estimates by six cents. Revenue was also well above estimates, with the business software company noting particular sales strength in the Americas region.
Cintas (CTAS) reported fiscal first quarter profit of 63 cents per share, matching estimates, but the uniform and restroom supplies producer also raised its earnings guidance for the full year.
Chevron (CVX) got a favorable ruling from an Ecuadoran court, as it tries to avoid paying a $19 billion judgment stemming from contamination in the Amazon. A panel ruled that a cleanup agreement signed by Texaco in 1995 absolved it from further financial responsibility. Texaco was later purchased by Chevron.
Walt Disney (DIS) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer will end their film deal next year. That deal had given Disney a first option on Bruckheimer's films, although the two will continue to work together on various projects.
Home Depot (HD) will move part-time workers to the new public insurance exchanges, a move that affects about 20 thousand workers.