REUTERS/Jason ReedU.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (seated, L) and Deputy Attorney General James Cole prepare to testify at a House Intelligence Committee hearing as protesters hold up signs in the audience on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 29, 2013.
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- Asian markets were all higher, with Japan’s Nikkei up 1.23%; China’s SSE up 1.48%; and Korea’s KOSPI up 0.38%. European markets were heading north too, and U.S. futures looked to be headed up as well.
- The economic data deluge continued today with ADP’s employment report. ADP estimated that the private sector added 130,000 workers to payrolls this month, missing economists’ estimates for 150,000. It also revised down September’s figure from 166,000 to 145,000. The October print was the lowest since May.
- Consumer prices rose 0.2% in September from the month previous, right in line with economist expectations. Taking out food and energy, prices only rose 0.1%, below economist expectations of 0.2%.
- Today concludes the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee, and the FOMC will update us on its monetary policy at 2 p.m. Economists do not expect the central bank to taper its asset purchasing program or change interest rates. “The market should focus on how the Fed changes the official statement because it could send important signals about future policy actions (or lack thereof),” according to Morgan Stanley interest rate strategists Matthew Hornbach and Guneet Dhingra.
- General Motors beat earnings expectations this morning, reporting Q3 EPS of $US0.96 (analysts estimated $US0.94). At $US39 billion, revenue just missed analyst expectations ($39.38 billion).
- Spain has been slogging through a recession for some time now, but now it looks like the country may have turned the corner. Spain’s GDP grew 0.1% in the third quarter after eight consecutive quarters of retraction.
- In other euro-zone news, economic confidence in the area improved to 97.8 in October, beating expectations of 97.2 after September’s 96.9 print.
- The monster legal settlement reached by JP Morgan and the U.S. government is “at risk of collapsing because of disagreements related to a criminal probe of the bank and its effort to get penalties reimbursed by a government-controlled fund,” the Wall Street Journal’s Devlin Barrett and Dan Fitzpatrick report.
- Brazilian tycoon Eike Batista’s oil company OGX edged closer toward bankruptcy, the FT’s Samantha Pearson reports. The company has until tomorrow to make a debt payment, or else it will be considered officially in default. After failing to negotiate with creditors holding $US3.6 billion in bonds, OGX says it has enough cash to continue operating through December, according to the FT.
- Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sibelius will testify before Congress today on the glitchy rollout of Healthcare.gov. She is expected to “acknowledge problems” with the the site rollout and “pledge quick fixes to the bug-plagued online health insurance marketplace,” NBC’s Daniel Arkin reports.
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