Dow -39.81 (-0.31%)
Nasdaq +1.70 (+0.07%)
S&P 500 -5.43 (-0.39%)
News That Moved the Market
Markets End Mixed With Fed Day Looming. Traders spent Tuesday positioning themselves for the expected volatility from Wednesday's GDP reading and Fed announcement. The FOMC meeting, which began Tuesday, will conclude with the committee's announcement at 2:15 ET Wednesday. Most expect a quarter-point cut, but a lot of attention will also be given to the Fed's statement. Experts believe this could be the Fed's last cut for a while, as inflationary pressures will become more of a priority. With this knowledge, the U.S. Dollar showed strength Tuesday, pushing commodity prices lower. Crude fell more than $3.00 to $115.63/barrel.
More Bad Housing Data. The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index showed a record 12.7% decrease from last year. In another report, first quarter foreclosures rose 23% from the previous quarter, and jumped 112% from a year before. In addition to these reports, the Conference Board announced consumer confidence fell to 62.3 from 65.9. The reading was the lowest in about five years, but was better than expected.
Mastercard Shares Surge. Mastercard (MA, +13.0%) beat earnings estimates by 30%, or by more than $1/share. The company excelled even in the difficult economic environment, as consumers put more of their expenses on credit cards. The company's overseas businesses also outperformed expectations. Rival Visa (V, +6.9%) posted earnings that beat estimates by 17%, but revenue growth disappointed analysts.
Merck's Drug Surprisingly Rejected. U.S. regulators rejected Merck's (MRK, -10.4%) new drug to increase levels of good HDL cholesterol. The drug, which would have been named Cordaptive, has been touted by the company as an important step to fight heart disease and strokes. Merck did not say why the FDA rejected the drug. It also reaffirmed its earnings outlook for the year, but investors were already shaken and bids dried up for the stock quickly.
Quick Tics: The Nasdaq outperformed today, helped by Corning (GLW, +3.3%) reporting its profits tripled amid strong demand for LCD TVs….Economists on average expect a positive 0.2% reading in Wednesday's GDP reading.
Notable Earnings (Full List Here):
First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR) Time Not Supplied
General Motors Corp. (NYSE:GM) Before Open
Kraft Foods (KFT) Before Open
OfficeMax (NYSE:OMX) Time Not Supplied
Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) Time Not Supplied
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE:PRU) After Close
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) After Close
Sunoco (NYSE:SUN) After Close
Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX) Before Open
8:30 AM: GDP
9:45 AM: NAPM-Chicago
10:30 AM: Crude Inventories
2:15 PM: FOMC Announcement