Here Are 3 Hot Things to Know About Stocks Right Now
The Dow Industrial Average, which had been most of the day, edged into positive territory late in the session to finish up 34 points, or 0.13%, to 27,111, the S&P 500 rose 0.26%, and the Nasdaq advanced 0.40%.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up late in the session Tuesday, finishing modestly higher as the Federal Reserve's two-day meeting kicked off Tuesday.
- FedEx (FDX) - Get Report is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the closing bell Tuesday. FedEx is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
Wall Street Overview
Stocks finished up Tuesday as oil prices fell on expectations that Saudi Arabia will be able to restore most of its oil production faster than expected following a weekend drone attack and as the Federal Reserve's two-day rate-setting meeting began.
Oil prices declined following the largest one-day jump in more than two decades on Monday, sparked by the weekend attack on two key Saudi Arabian oil facilities.
Saudi Energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a press conference that 50% of the crude production cut from the attack has been restored in the past two days, CNBC reported, and the balance will be fully restored by the end of September. The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs said initial investigations have indicated that Iranian weapons were used in the attacks.
Brent crude contracts were down $4.53 to $63.15 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate contracts, which are more tightly linked to U.S. gas prices, were down $3.80 to $59.10 a barrel.
President Donald Trump toned down some of his early rhetoric regarding a U.S. military response to the weekend's drone attacks on two Saudi oil fields, which the U.S. has linked to the Iranian government.
"We have a lot of options but I'm not looking at options right now. We want to find definitively who did this," he said.
Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, asked "how are they going to stop another attack from happening tomorrow?"
"There's nothing to say they can stop an attack because they couldn't do it with all the security in the world," he said. "Keep in mind we still don't know if there's going to be a military response to what's happening. At this point we just don't know and that's why we're having this incredible run."
Flynn also noted that "you've got a lot of money moving around at the last minute before the October options expire by the end of the day, so that's probably adding to the volatility a little bit."
Tuesday is the first day of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting, at which the Federal Reserve's policy-making body is expected to announce it has cut interest rates by a quarter-point for the second time this year. The Fed's benchmark rate is now at 2% to 2.25%. The announcement from the FOMC is expected at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.
Fed-watchers will focus on what Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has to say at his press conference Wednesday about further easing. Powell likely will reiterate that the central bank will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion of the U.S. economy, especially in light of the intensifying, 14-month trade war between the U.S. and China.
Market sentiment remains affected by the uncertainty on trade as negotiators from Washington and Beijing prepare to meet later this week for talks that will pave the way toward higher-level negotiations in October.
"This type of price spike in oil assures any doubters - not that there were too many - that the Fed would not cut rates," Flynn said. "Obviously, this added uncertainty in the market is probably going to keep the Fed from sounding too hawkish because they realize they may have to react if there's increasing tensions in the global energy market."
In economic news, industrial production rose 0.6% in August, the largest increase in a year, the Federal Reserve said. Output in July was revised to a 0.1% decline from the prior estimate of a 0.2% slide.
FedEx (FDX) - Get Report is scheduled to report quarterly earnings after the bell on Tuesday. The package delivery company is expected to report adjusted earnings of $3.16 a share on sales of $17.1 billion. Shares were off slightly to $173.55. FedEx is Real Money's Stock of the Day.
Shares of Boeing (BA) - Get Report were up 1.4% to $384.20 after the aerospace giant lifted its forecast for aircraft demand in China, the world's biggest market, amid ongoing questions over the return of its troubled 737 MAX jet, which remains grounded following two deadly crashes in March 2019 and November 2018 that took the lives of 346 passengers.