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Stock futures rebound; Fed decision; Earnings galore

1. Stocks stabilize: U.S. stock futures were higher on Wednesday after two very rough trading sessions on Wall Street...

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 11:47 AM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 11:47 AM

1. Stocks stabilize: U.S. stock futures were higher on Wednesday after two very rough trading sessions on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped by 1.4% on Tuesday, its worst performance since May. The S&P 500 fell 1.1% and the Nasdaq shed 0.9%.

The losses were driven by a sell off in health care stocks and concerns about the bond market.

European markets were mostly positive on Wednesday. Many Asian markets ended the day with losses.

2. Fed watch: The U.S. Federal Reserve will announce its latest interest rate decision at 2 p.m. ET. Rates are expected to remain unchanged.

"The focus ahead of the meeting has been on the extent to which the Fed will acknowledge the recent rise in inflation pressure and inflation expectations," said Felix Ewert of Swedish bank SEB.

Fed chair Janet Yellen is overseeing her final Federal Open Market Committee meeting. She will relinquish her post to Jerome Powell on February 3.

Powell is expected to continue slowly lifting interest rates.

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3. Earnings galore: Anthem, Boeing, Eli Lilly, Energizer, Sirius XM Radio and Tupperware will publish earnings before the open.

AT&T, eBay, Facebook, Microsoft, Mondelez International, PayPal, Qualcomm and Symantec will follow after the close.

4. Blackstone's big deal: Private equity firm Blackstone has agreed to buy a majority stake in Thomson Reuters' financial and risk unit for $17 billion, putting it in direct competition with Bloomberg.

Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters provide financial data and other services to bankers, investors and regulators.

Thomson Reuters will retain a 45% stake in the data unit. The group also owns a major international news operation and a unit that specializes in legal and tax and accounting services.

5. Market movers -- Electronic Arts, Xerox, Capita: Shares in Electronic Arts jumped 7% in extended trading after the company reported quarterly results on Tuesday.

Shares in Xerox were also up 7% premarket after the company reported a new deal with Fujifilm, as well as layoffs and quarterly results.

Shares in the London-traded firm Capita dropped 40% after the government contractor announced it was suspending its dividend payouts, raising fresh investment and selling off some units.

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6. Coming this week:

Wednesday -- Earnings from Anthem, AT&T, Microsoft, eBay, PayPal, Mondelez and Facebook
Thursday -- Earnings from Apple, Alphabet, Amazon, Time Warner, Hershey, UPS, MasterCard, Visa, Mattel, DowDuPont and ConocoPhillips
Friday -- U.S. monthly jobs report

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A cold front moved through last night, giving us thunderstorms but left us with a significant cool down from the heat we've had the past couple of weeks. Today we saw a few light showers and temperatures in the low 80s for our high. Tonight should be cool as well with lows in the lower 60s and calm winds. Dry and sunny conditions continue into next week as temperatures stay seasonal. Highs look to stay in the 80s until midweek and the humidity will be moderate, feeling a lot more comfortable than last week. Scattered showers and storms will continue off and on mainly through the morning and afternoon hours on Saturday. Temperatures will be much cooler on Saturday with highs in the mid 80s. Dry and sunny conditions will take over on Sunday and continue into next week as temperatures stay seasonal.
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