Market Happenings For Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dow stocks at 52 week highs include Boeing (BA), 3M (MMM) and United Technologies (UTX). There are no Dow stock 52 week lows.

The Market

Tuesday the Dow closed up +34.95 (+0.23%) at 15,529.73.

Year-to-date the Dow is up +18.51%..

This morning the Dow was indicated to open up +7 points.

The FOMC concludes its 2-day meeting today. The market is looking for a $10 billion cut in QE3 to $75 billion from the current $85 billion level. The central bank will release a statement at 2 p.m. ET following the conclusion of its latest policy-making meeting. Fed chair Ben Bernanke will then hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to discuss the Fed’s latest assessment of the economy and its plans for the future.

Procter & Gamble (PG) was downgraded to “Equal Weight” from “Overweight” at Barclays.

Caterpillar (CAT) was downgraded to “Neutral” from “Outperform” at RW Baird.

AT&T Inc. (T) shares are up in premarket trade as it expanded its Aio Wireless no-contract plans across the US.

Walk Disney Co (DIS) shares are down in premarket trade after the company announced that it is planning to repurchase between $6 and $8 billion shares in fiscal year 2014.

Microsoft yesterday announced that it would return cash to shareholders by increasing its quarterly dividend by 22 percent and reauthorizing $40 billion to buy back shares.

European markets are higher and Asian markets ended mixed.

The national average price of gasoline is down six-tenths of a cent to $3.506 per gallon.

Earnings Reports

There are no Dow stocks expected to report earnings soon.

Earnings reports from Tuesday include:

Adobe Systems Incorporated (ADBE) reported third quarter EPS of $0.32 on revenue of $995.10 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.58 on revenue of $1.08 billion.

FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS) reported fourth quarter EPS of $1.20 on revenue of $219.98 million, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.08 on revenue of $218.98.

Other stocks expected to report earnings today include:

FedEx Corporation (DX) is expected to report EPS of $1.52 on revenue of $11.00 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $1.45 on revenue of $10.79 billion.

General Mills, Inc. (GIS) is expected to report EPS of $0.70 on revenue of $4.30 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.66 on revenue of $4.05 billion.

Oracle Corporation (ORCL) is expected to report EPS of $0.56 on revenue of $8.48 billion, compared to last year’s EPS of $0.53 on revenue of $8.21 billion.

Today’s Featured Dow Stock

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ).

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) is up 52.07% year-to-date.

Financial Calendar

0700 ET Weekly MBA mortgage applications, previous -13.5% with purchase sub-index -2.7% and refi sub-index 20.2%.

0830 ET Aug housing starts expected +2.7% to 920,000, July +5.9% to 896,000. Aug building permits expected -0.4% to 950,000, July +3.9% to 954,000.

1030 ET EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

1400 ET FOMC announces interest rate decision and updates its economic projections.

1400 ET Fed expected to cut QE3 monthly purchases by $10 billion to $75 billion from current $85 billion with monthly MBS purchases unchanged at $40 billion and a $10 billion cut in monthly Treasury purchases to $35 billion from $45 billion.

1430 ET Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke holds press conference following FOMC meeting.

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