Fed On The Clock and Oil Firms Up

The Dow is pointing higher this morning as investors focus on the Fed's two day meeting and a bunch of big earning reports. European markets are slightly weaker and Asian stocks were mixed overnight. The yen remains lower against the U.S. dollar.

EARNINGS CENTRAL: Dow components Merck , 3M , and Procter & Gamble report today. Overnight, Sony reported a 15 percent drop in quarterly earnings after losses at its game unit.

DEAL? NO DEAL: The rumored Bristol Myers /Sanofi deal reported in a French newsletter that pushed up Bristol Myers yesterday was knocked down in the New York Times in a story that quoted people close to the companies.

WATCHING THE FED: While there is no rate change expected, much focus is on the magic moment tomorrow afternoon at 2:15 pm when the Fed releases its statement. Traders will be watching closely for any changes in bias. Our Steve Liesman today will examine how the Fed communicates.

Oil is firmer this morning after a nearly three percent drop yesterday. Saudi Arabia is prepared to cut its output, as part of OPEC's pending cuts which take effect Feb 1.

AROUND THE WORLD: The Wall Street Journal looks at the internal criticism aimed at Iran's president, similar to a New York Times article over the weekend. The Times today says European governments are resisting the Bush administration's demands they end support for exports to Iran and that they block transactions and freeze some Iranian companies' assets.

The UN is considering an emergency summit of world leaders to discuss climate change, according to the Financial Times.