Wall Street anxiously awaits Fed statement
The Dow and S&P 500 have essentially run in place for two weeks, waiting for today's Fed policy statement. That statement will be out at 2pm ET, and investors will no doubt be searching for clues as to when and how the central bank will scale back and eventually exit its accommodative monetary policy.
The Street will have plenty to occupy its attention ahead of the Fed statement, with the latest ADP and GDP reports out this morning. The ADP report on private sector employment, due out at 8:15 a.m. ET, is expected to show that the U.S. economy added 183,000 jobs in July, following 188,000 in June. At 8:30 a.m. ET, the first estimate of second quarter GDP is expected to show the U.S. economy growing at a 0.9 percent annual rate, following a 1.8 percent rate during the first quarter.
At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Chicago Purchasing Manager's Index, a measure of Midwest manufacturing activity, is seen coming in at 53.5 for July following June's 51.6.
Weekly numbers out today include the Mortgage Bankers Association's look at mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET, and the Energy Department's reading of oil and gasoline inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET.
CNBC and NBCUniversal parent Comcast (CMCSA) is among the companies out with quarterly earnings this morning, along with Allergan (AGN), Hess (HES), Hyatt (H), Garmin (GRMN), Hospira (HSP), Humana (HUM), MasterCard (MA), Phillips 66 (PSX), and SodaStream (SODA). After today's closing bell, we'll get the latest quarterly numbers from Allstate (ALL), CBS (CBS), Marriott (MAR), MetLife (MET), and Whole Foods (WFM).
Facebook (FB) leads our list of stocks to watch today, after coming within four cents Tuesday of equaling its IPO price of $38 for the first time since its debut in May 2012.
Air Products (APD) has a new major stockholder, with CNBC learning that investor Bill Ackman's Pershing Square has taken a 9.8 percent stake in the maker of industrial gases.
Symantec (SYMC) reported first quarter profit of 44 cents per share, eight cents above estimates, with revenue also above consensus. The maker of Norton anti-virus software saw increased sales following a series of high profile hacking attacks.
Amgen (AMGN) reported second quarter profit of $1.89 per share, excluding certain items, beating estimates by 15 cents. Revenue exceeded forecasts, and the biotech giant also sees full year profit above street estimates.
Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD) beat estimates by nine cents, earning 88 cents per share for the second quarter. But the stock is under pressure on investor concern about slowing same-store sales growth.
IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) earned 95 cents per share, excluding certain items, for the second quarter, beating estimates by a penny. Revenue outdistanced forecasts, as revenue from Match.com increased.
Aflac (AFL) earned $1.62 per share for the second quarter, excluding certain items, 11 cents above estimates, with revenue beating consensus, as premium growth for its Japanese unit improved. However, the life insurer's current quarter forecast is below Street forecasts.
Take-Two Interactive (TTWO) lost 54 cents per share for its first quarter, a slightly smaller loss than the 57 cent number forecast by analysts. Revenue did beat estimates, despite the lack of new releases during the quarter. Take-Two is currently preparing a new version of its popular "Grand Theft Auto" game.
Genworth Financial (GNW) earned 27 cents per share for the second quarter, missing estimates by two cents, with revenue falling short as well. Genworth said its U.S. mortgage insurance business will likely post a loss for the second half of the year.
Accenture (ACN) is in talks to acquire rival consulting firm Booz & Co., according to Dow Jones.
Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook met with the head of China Mobile in Beijing earlier today to discuss possible cooperation. China Mobile is the world's largest mobile carrier, and the only one in China that doesn't carry the iPhone or the iPad.