Market Hustle: Futures Slipping Ahead of Fed Stimulus Decision
All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve's policy meeting announcement this afternoon at 2 p.m. EST where economists are split over whether the central bank will stick to its intention to reduce bond purchases by $10 billion a month based, or hold back on a reduction given a sluggish December jobs report and jitters in emerging markets.
After Tuesday's close, Electronic Arts said it expects profit of 9 cents a share for the current quarter on sales of $800 million, against the 10 cents a share profit and $827 million in revenue forecast by analysts. As a result, EA shares fell more then 3% in after-hours trading.
Also after the closing bell Tuesday, Yahoo! said quarterly profit rose to $351.67 million or 33 cents a share. Its shares lost more than 4% in after-hours trading as ad revenue dropped by a greater-than-expected 6% on the prior year. Telecommunications company AT&T (T) posted a fourth-quarter profit of $6.9 billion or $1.31 a share, beating expectations for earnings of 51 cents a share. Facebook is expected Wednesday to report quarterly earnings of 27 cents a share.
Markets closed higher Tuesday on relative calm in emerging markets and better corporate earnings, snapping a three-day losing streak.
In global economic news, consumer sentiment in Germany hit a six-year high, with many hoping stronger domestic demand in Europe's largest economy will help eurozone growth this year. The consumer sentiment indicator rose to 8.2 points in February from 7.7 in January -- its highest level since August 2007.
Turkey's central bank raised the overnight lending rate to 12% from 7.75%, causing the Turkish lira the rally sharply against the greenback. The move came after increase in India's interest rates on Tuesday.
European stocks were edging higher while the Hang Seng closed 0.82% higher and the Nikkei finished up 2.70%.
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