Five Things Everyone Will Be Talking About Today

It's Fed day.

What You Need to Know: Fed, China, Cablevision

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.

Fed decision

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. 

Cable takeover

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.

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