STOCKS DO NOTHING AHEAD OF THE FED: Here's what you need to know

Stocks had another quiet day of trading as the Federal Reserve started its two-day policy meeting in Washington, and traders geared up for the statement on Wednesday.

First, the scoreboard:

  • Dow: 18,173.82, +53.65, (0.30%)
  • S&P 500: 2,144.39, +5.27, (0.25%)
  • Nasdaq: 5,251.99, +16.96, (0.32%)
  1. Wells Fargo’s CEO got grilled by the Senate. John Stumpf met with the Senate Banking Committee in a tense testimony about fraudulent accounts opened by Wells employees. Stumpf said the creation of the accounts was not a systemic issue caused by the upper levels of the firm. Sen. Elizabeth Warren was most blistering in her questioning, and called for Stumpf to be criminally investigated.

  2. Pharma giant Allergan is buying Tobira Therapeutics, a much smaller company, for a premium that could be up to 1,800%. Allergan is paying an upfront price of $28.35 per share in cash, and up to $49.84 per share in so-called Contingent Value Rights (CVRs) if two drugs under development make it to market. Used together, the drugs under development could help to treat NASH — Cenicriviroc and Evogliptin.
  3. Housing starts fell more than expected in August, by 5.8% at a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.14 million units. Building permits for future construction fell 0.4% to a 1.14 million-unit rate, amid a plunge in the volatile multi-family homes segment. The fall was expected, as groundbreaking had been running ahead of permit approvals in recent months.
  4. SeaWorld shares fell 4% after the company cut its dividend. The beleaguered theme park company said in a press release on Monday that it is lowering its dividend payout to $0.10 per share from $0.21 per share. Its board announced that it will no longer issue a dividend after the payment this quarter. Instead ,it would be “opportunistically repurchasing” shares in the open market.


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