It's Fed decision day. Here's a preview of a potentially historic decision from the U.S. central bank, and some of the other things people in markets are talking about today.
At 2 p.m. ET today, markets will get the answer to the only question that matters right now - is today the end of ZIRP? Even if there is no move on headline rates - and economists are split almost 50-50 on that - the FOMC's forecasts will be closely watched to get an idea of the pace of future tightening. Market based expectations for a rise stand at 32 percent this morning. Whichever way the Fed does go, there will be market fallout so here's a guide to how to navigate the aftermath.
Altice NV, the European cable operator has agreed to buy Cablevision Systems Corp. in a $17 billion deal, with Cablevision investors receiving $34.90 a share, 22 percent more than the stock's closing price in New York yesterday. This is Altice's second foray into the U.S. cable market after buying a controlling interest in Suddenlink Communications in May of this year.
China stock slump
In a reversal of a recent trend, the Chinese Shanghai Composite Index fell sharply at the end of trading, turning a 1.7 percent gain into a 2.1 percent loss in the last 30 minutes. Swings in the index over the past few weeks, amid thin trading volumes, have increased volatility to its highest level since 1997.
European markets seek direction
Ahead of the Fed decision, equity markets in Europe are lacking direction. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained less than 0.1 percent by 10:45 a.m. London time. With European equity markets some of the very few worldwide that are still positive for the year, market strategists say that they may be a "safe haven" if the Fed does decide to raise rates today.
Not only the Fed
There is a raft of economic data coming out today in the U.S. and while none of it will likely influence the FOMC's decision, it will point to the health of the overall economy. At 8:30 a.m. ET we will get a look at the state of the housing market with housing starts and building permits data released. Also at 8:30 a.m. ET we get initial jobless claims followed at 10 a.m. ET by the current employment preliminary benchmark revisions by the BLS. Also at 10 a.m. the Philadelphia Fed business outlook is published. Even without the Fed, it will be a busy day.
What we've been reading
This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.
- The death of Europe's anti-austerity movement says a lot about austerity.
- Chile rattled by an 8.3 magnitude earthquake.
- California fears what El Nino has in store this winter.
- The frustrating life of the McDonald's franchisee.
- Twitter's CFO says its audience is bigger than Facebook, depending on how you look at it.
- Yale still clipping coupons on a Dutch water bond from 1648.
- The 'Flash Boys' exchange is growing up.
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