Here is what you need to know.
It’s Fed day. The Fed is expected to raise its benchmark interest for the first time since June 2006 at Wednesday’s meeting. Aside from the decision itself, market participants will be focused on the pace at which any rate hike cycle may occur. The Fed statement, dot plot and Summary of Economic Projections will be released at 2 p.m. ET before Janet Yellen’s press conference begins at 2:30 p.m. ET. Currently, the market is pricing in a 78% chance of an interest rate hike.
The Bank of Thailand kept policy on hold. The Bank of Thailand held its benchmark interest rate at 1.50%, as expected. The central bank noted the Thai economy continues to recover gradually, and that “headline inflation is projected to rise gradually and to turn positive during the first half of next year, as the base effect of high oil prices wanes.” It also expects policy to remain “sufficiently accommodative.” The Thai baht is fell 0.3% to 36.071 per dollar.
The UK’s unemployment rate slipped. The UK’s unemployment rate came out at 5.2% in October, slightly better than the 5.3% that was expected. Additionally, the claimant count change climbed 3,900, missing the up 2,000 that was anticipated. Average hourly earnings rose 2.4%, which was shy of the 2.5% gain that was anticipated. The British pound is down 0.1% at 1.5022.
Europe’s Flash PMIs were mixed. Eurozone Flash Services PMI fell short of estimates, printing 53.9 on expectation of 54.1 reading. Meanwhile the manufacturing number topped its 52.8 estimate with a 53.1. French manufacturing was a standout, coming in at 51.6 versus its 50.5 forecast. As for Germany, its manufacturing number was in-line at 53.0. The euro is lower by 0.1% at 1.0922.
The US’ oil export ban might be over. Congressional leaders have reached a deal on spending and tax legislation that would avert a government shutdown and end the 40-year ban on US oil exports. According to Bloomberg, the $1.1 trillion deal would would fund the government through September while reinstating several tax breaks. Aside from lifting the oil export ban, tax credits for renewable energy would be extended. The agreement must still be voted on in Congress, and then signed off on by President Obama. West Texas Intermediate crude oil is down 0.6% at $37.13 per barrel.
Valeant lowered its Q4 outlook. The pharma giant predicts fourth quarter earnings per share will come in between $2.55 and $2.65, which is well below its previous forecast of $4.00 to $4.20. The lowered forecast comes in response to the fallout from acquisitions made by Citron Research that Valeant was an Enron-like fraud. Specifically, the research firm singled out Valeant’s relationship with Philidor, a pharmacy that distributes drugs for specialty pharmacies.
Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square has had an awful 2015. The hedge fund lost 19.7% through the first 11 months of the year. In a letter to investors, Ackman said,”If the year finishes with our portfolio holdings at or around current values, 2015 will be the worst performance year in Pershing Square’s history, even worse than 2008 during the financial crisis.” Ackman emphasised redemptions from the fund remain low at $39 million, or 0.2% of capital.
US economic data is heavy. Housing starts and building permits will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET before industrial production and capacity utilization cross the wires at 9:15 a.m. ET. Crude oil inventories are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET. The US 10-year yield is higher by 1 basis point at 2.27%.
Stock markets around the world are higher. Japan’s Nikkei (+2.6%) paced the gains in Asia and Spain’s IBEX (+1%) leads the was up in Europe. S&P 500 futures are up 11.25 points at 2056.75.
Earnings reporting is light. Joy Global reports ahead of the opening bell while FedEx and Oracle release their quarterly results after markets close.