Apple, Federal Reserve, Pfizer, General Electric, CBS - 5 Things You Must Know

Here are five things you must know for Tuesday, July 31:   

1. -- Stocks Higher as Fed Meeting Kicks Off

U.S. stock futures were rising on Tuesday, July 31, ahead of earnings from Apple Inc. (AAPL) and the beginning of a two-day meeting of the Federal Reserve.

Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average  rose 6 points, futures for the S&P 500  were up 3.50 points and Nasdaq futures gained 7.50 points.

The Fed meets Tuesday and Wednesday, Aug. 1, in Washington with investors modestly reducing bets the central bank will be able to execute two more rate hikes between now and the end of the year, according to the CME Group's FedWatch tool. Most economists don't expect the Fed to raise rates at the July meeting. The Fed has raised rates seven times since December 2015.

The announcement from the Federal Reserve on interest rates is expected at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

For Tuesday, the economic calendar in the U.S. includes Personal Income and Outlays for June at 8:30 a.m., and Consumer Confidence for July at 10 a.m.

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2. -- Apple Highlights Tuesday's Earnings Calendar

Apple is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter earnings after the closing bell on Tuesday, and analysts expect the iPhone maker to post revenue of $52.3 billion and earnings of $2.16 a share. The June quarter is Apple's seasonally weakest quarter.

Following a fiscal second quarter quarter in which iPhone unit sales rose by only 1.5 million annually to 52.2 million, estimates call for iPhone sales to rise by 1 million to 42 million.

Apple is forecast to report services revenue in the latest quarter of $9.21 billion, an increase of 27%. Apple's services revenue rose 31% in the March quarter to $9.19 billion.

Apple is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells AAPL? Learn more now.

3. -- Pfizer and Procter & Gamble Report Earnings

Earnings are also expected Tuesday from Pfizer Inc. (PFE) , Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) , Pandora Media Inc. (P) , Charter Communications Inc. (CHTR) , Baidu Inc. (BIDU) , Anadarko Petroleum Corp. (APC) and Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) .

Anadarko Petroleum is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells the stock? Learn more now.

4. -- GE Seeks a Buyer for Its Digital Assets - Report

General Electric Co. (GE) is seeking a buyer for its digital assets, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company has hired an investment bank to run an auction for the operations, which produced $500 million or more in revenue last year and lost money, according to the Journal.

The software unit, GE Digital, was key to the strategic vision of Jeff Immelt, who left as CEO last summer. The unit includes a software platform called Predix.

Here's what GE's Chief Financial Officer Jamie Miller recently told TheStreet.

5. -- CBS Board Remains Mum on Moonves

The board of CBS Corp. (CBS)  voted on Monday, July 30, to postpone its annual meeting but didn't arrive at a decision about Chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, following a New Yorker exposé alleging sexual misconduct about the network's boss.

The board has begun the process of selecting an outside law firm to handle the independent investigation into Moonves.
 
 
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