All eyes are on the Federal Reserve and their decision about tapering. The S&P 500 rose above 1700 yesterday for the first time in 6 weeks and is within a few points of an all time high.
Markets around the world will be in a holding period until 2pm eastern time today when the Federal Reserve wraps up their 2 day meeting with a press conference where Ben Bernanke is expected to announce the long retreat from the ultra-easy monetary policy of the last 5 years. The Fed is expected to announce a $10-$15 Billion reduction in monthly Bond purchases while stressing that interest rates will remain near zero for a long time. The 5 year expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet has left the central bank with a $3.6 trillion balance sheet.
And a company that is a good proxy for the future health of the US economy, FedEx, reported fiscal 1st quarter earnings increased 6.5% on an increase in ground shipping and improving margins. The company also backed their full year profit projections sending the stock 2.5% higher.
The U.S. Department of Commerce said that construction on new homes rose 0.9% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 891,000 pointing to a continued rebound in the housing market, though there is a concern that rising mortgage rates are slowing the recovery.
And Forbes is out with their annual list of the 400 richest people on the planet. Five years after the financial crisis the wealthiest 400 collectively gained back $2.2 Trillion which equals the GDP of Russia. The average net worth on the list is $5 Billion and Bill Gates has taken the top spot back from Mexico’s Carlos Slim with a net worth of $72 Billion.