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Economy

Wall St eyes mixed open as focus shifts to Fed’s taper decision

By Devik Jain and Shashank Nayar

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Wall St eyes mixed open as focus shifts to Fed's taper decision
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 9, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

By Devik Jain and Shashank Nayar

(Reuters) -U.S. stock indexes were set for a mixed open on Wednesday as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of the conclusion of a Federal Reserve meeting, where policymakers are widely expected to signal the withdrawal of its pandemic-era support.

The U.S. central bank will likely announce the tapering of its $120 billion-a-month asset purchase program in its policy statement due at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

The statement will be followed by Chair Jerome Powell’s news conference, which market participants will be closely watching for views on inflation and interest rate hikes.

“We don’t expect they will touch up on their rate hike plans for now … the Fed has been so diligent in preparing the market in what it is going to do and I will be surprised to see any kind of extreme moves in the market post decision,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

“But, if the Fed is to cut bond buying at faster levels than what the market anticipates, it could send some jitters because it says that the Fed worries more about inflation.

Wall Street has largely shrugged off concerns around rising price pressures and mixed economic growth, boosted by a stellar third-quarter earnings season and an upbeat commentary about growth going forward.

The and the Nasdaq notched record closing highs for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, while the closed above 36,000 for the first time.

Michael Kors owner Capri Holdings (NYSE:) Ltd raised its annual profit forecast above Wall Street estimates, shrugging off fears about inventory delays and higher costs, sending its shares up 12.1% in premarket trade.

Shale oil producer Devon Energy (NYSE:) rose 2.9% on topping earnings estimates as oil prices hit multi-year highs.

Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:) surged 13.9% after the ride-hailing firm reported an adjusted profit for the third quarter, while Mondelez International Inc (NASDAQ:) inched higher after the Oreo maker lifted its annual sales outlook.

Profits for S&P 500 companies are expected to have climbed 40.2% in the third quarter from a year ago, up from an expected 29.4% rise at the start of the earnings season, according to data from Refinitiv.

At 8:32 a.m. ET, were down 72 points, or 0.2%, were down 5.5 points, or 0.12%, and were up 15.75 points, or 0.1%.

Meanwhile, data showed U.S. private employers maintained a solid pace of hiring in October, though worker shortages linger.

October readings on IHS Markit composite PMI and ISM non-manufacturing activity are due later in the day.

Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:) tumbled 13.6% after the videogame publisher delayed the launch of two much-awaited titles, as its co-leader Jen Oneal decided to step down from her role.

Humana Inc (NYSE:) slipped 7.7% after the health insurer lowered its 2021 profit forecast on higher COVID-related costs.

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Economy

Oil Russia ban news: Russia will ban the sale of its oil to countries that have imposed a price ceiling

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oil Russia ban

Will Russia sell oil to Europe? The administration of President Vladimir Putin is preparing an order prohibiting Russian companies and any trader from buying Russian oil to sell raw materials to countries and companies that have imposed a price ceiling on Moscow. Bloomberg news agency wrote this, citing a report from sources.

“The Kremlin is preparing a presidential decree banning Russian companies and any traders buying national oil from selling it to anyone who participates in the price ceiling,” the publication wrote.

According to the newspaper’s interlocutors, this would prohibit any mention of the price ceiling in contracts for Russian crude, as well as transferring it to countries that have joined the price ceiling for the natural resource.

In the first half of September, the press service of the US Treasury Department said that the USA, together with its allies from G7 (Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Canada, France and Japan) and the European Union (EU) would impose a ban on marine transportation of Russian oil on December 5 and oil products – on February 5.

Earlier we reported that EU negotiations on limiting the prices of Russian oil reached a deadlock today.

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Economy

EU talks on restrictions on Russian crude oil prices today stalled

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russian crude oil price today

Negotiations between the European Union countries about the “ceiling” of Russian crude oil prices today reached an impasse; Bloomberg reported, according to its sources.

Representatives of the bloc cannot reach an agreement on the ceiling price of Russian oil. According to the agency, the proposed European Commission limit of $65-70 per barrel, Poland and the Baltic countries believe “too generous,” while Greece and Malta, which is actively engaged in transporting fuel, do not want the limit to fall below $ 70. Recall that the Russian response to the oil price cap was negative. The Russian government has officially said that it will only sell oil at market prices.

“We are looking for ways to make this solution work and we are trying to find a common ground to implement it in a perfectly pragmatic and efficient way, while avoiding that it may cause excessive inconvenience to the European Union,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

Earlier, we reported that the SEC fined Goldman Sachs $4 million for non-compliance with ESG fund principles.

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Economy

More than 50% of Germans said they had given up shopping for new clothes and electronics. Is Germany’s economy failing?

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is germany's economy failing

Die Welt newspaper cited a survey by the consulting company EY and said that about 56% of Germans who took part in the survey said that they had practically refused to buy new clothes.

Also, 56% of German consumers reported that they now refrain from buying televisions, smartphones, laptops and game consoles. Also, nearly one in two now uses less gasoline, and one in four said they are saving on medications.

What caused the economic crisis in Germany? The main reason is the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by the EU. Also, every second respondent reported that at the moment he could buy only the essentials. According to EY analysts, German households plan to further reduce spending in the coming months. In particular, they plan to save money on food delivery and entertainment.

Earlier, we reported that prices for liquefied natural gas in Asia reached their highest since October.

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