Stocks may open higher after early weakness on this final day of the second quarter. European markets are mostly lower, and Asia was mixed with Tokyo up 1%. The discovery of an explosive device in a car in London impacted market tone in Europe.
All the Buzz
Apple's new iPhone is finally arriving in stores today, and the market's focus is on earnings news from late yesterday on Apple rivals, Palm and Rim . Another related trade is apparently being considered by some of those people waiting outside of Apple stores. CNBC's Brian Shactman is reporting some people have had offers to sell their positions in line or are maybe even considering selling a marked-up phone or two.
Key data today includes Chicago purchasing managers, construction spending, and the core personal consumption expenditures index, a measure of inflation closely watched by the Fed. Core consumer prices were reported up just 0.1% as expected in May. The PCE data was positive, says CNBC's economics correspondent Steve Liesman. "We're in the comfort zone," he said.
Yet the Fed's downplaying of inflation in its statement yesterday was perceived as a help to the market, but never delivered the bang some stock traders were hoping for.
CNBC's Rick Santelli said bond traders were also a bit disappointed by the Fed statement.
"I think it was difficult to weave straw into gold in the Fed statement. Traders believe this Fed 's motto is 'let nature take its course.' Despite the volatility in the marketplace, traders felt they could have said something about housing or credit spreads. (Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke doesn't have to fan the flames. We don't want the Fed to talk like that, but the market wanted him to weigh in," says Santelli.
"The traders really have angst about subprime and its affects across all types of credit. Subprime is the catchall for the repricing of risk. This is what we're talking about here -- is there a credit bubble? Wouldn't you want to see your central bank to step up and say something? Bernanke's not weighing in on issues that are bugging people right now," said Santelli.
Stocks finished the day where they started yesterday - basically flat. The market immediately moved higher on the Fed's 2:15 pm New York time statement, but the Dow ended the day down 5 points. The S&P 500 was off 0.63 point and the Nasdaq was up 3 points.
First-Half Mile Markers
As investors start thinking about the second half of 2007, the Dow is up 7.7% for the first half. The Nasdaq is up 8% and S&P up 6.2%.Global mergers and acquisitions, a big driver for the market, set a record for the first half. Dealogic says with $2.78 trillion deals announced year-to-date, volume is up 51% from last year.
Lots of Hype
Apple rival Research in Motion's stock popped after hours after the company reported better than expected earnings and saw new products boost revenue growth. Palm though reported a big drop in profits.
"Wall Street nailed this: the discussion about the impact iPhone would have on the smart phone sector is no longer theoretical. RIM continues to surge and Palm is on the ropes. It appears Blackberry is immune to the oncoming iPhone juggernaut, owning the enterprise and making headway with consumers," says CNBC Silicon Valley bureau chief Jim Goldman.
"And even in the face of iPhone's release, RIM doesn't merely raise guidance. It dramatically raises guidance. Big unit shipments, huge subscriber sign-ups, and a 3-for-1 stock split. All from a line of products already proven in the marketplace," says Goldman, noting that some investors might see RIM as a better play than Apple.