Updated from 6:20 p.m ET to add latest share prices for after-hours action, link to Facebook story.
NEW YORK (
) -- Another
in the books and here come the big headlines investors have been waiting for.
Wednesday won't offer much for
watchers beyond continued commentary about just how far Ben Bernanke & Co. are likely to go in their efforts to accommodate the U.S. economy on Thursday afternoon. For its part, Deutsche Bank sees the central bank being fairly aggressive, a view that's largely in line with the general consensus.
"Our assumption is that the Committee will move towards further monetary accommodation via additional large scale asset purchases and strongly worded verbal easing," the firm said. "The Committee is clearly biased towards easing monetary conditions and we anticipate modest downward revisions to 2012 and 2013 real GDP growth coupled with upward revisions to the unemployment rate when the central tendency forecasts are released."
Meantime, Bank of America Merrill Lynch was advising investors to be careful about going whole hog into equities right now, saying the coast isn't completely clear just yet.
"Only once the $10 trillion of central bank liquidity injected into financial markets in the past five years conspires to create a sustained recovery in global economic growth will the Great Rotation from bonds to equities take place and a massive asset allocation shift be warranted, in our opinion," the firm said. "While the recovery in US housing offers a tantalizing rationale for the Great Rotation, the US fiscal cliff and slower global growth leave us unconvinced that we'll see significant equity upside from current levels."
B of A said investors shouldn't be shy about taking some profits if stocks move higher from here but also listed three catalysts to buy stocks and sell bonds that it will be watching in 2013: "resolution to the fiscal cliff uncertainty; improvement in Chinese growth; and sustained recovery in US housing that improves consumer and bank balance sheets."
While the decision of Germany's Constitutional Court about the country's ability to directly participate in the various eurozone bailout efforts will have bigger macro implications on Wednesday, the boldest type is being saved for
and its big media event in San Francisco.
While the launch of the iPhone 5 seems like a done deal, there has also been some speculation that an iPad Mini could make an appearance. Barclays, which has an overweight rating on the stock with $750 price target, provided some historical context on Tuesday about how the shares have traded around past iPhone announcements.
"Historically, Apple's stock performance has on average performed in line with the S&P 500 in the 3-months following an iPhone announcement but significantly outperformed over the 6-months following an announcement," the firm said, noting the weakness in the stock so far this week would seem to indicate the usual sell-off may have started early.
Up more than 60% in 2012, Apple shares are looking pretty ripe these days. The stock hit an all-time high of $683.29 on Monday then turned around to close roughly 2% lower. The downdraft continued on Tuesday with the stock closing off 0.32% at $660.59. Barclays sees the eventual iPad Mini announcement as a wild card that could complicate matters this time around.
We believe these 'trades' are hard to time, and we can't recall a time when an important launch like the iPad mini followed a major iPhone launch so closely," the firm said. "As a result, investors may have to get ready for yet another event rather quickly if the iPad mini is not launched on Wednesday and is slated for October."
As for Wednesday's other scheduled news,
is among the few companies reporting their quarterly results. The average estimate of analysts polled by
is for the Port Washington, N.Y.-based maker of filtration and purification products to post earnings of 77 cents a share in its July-ended fiscal fourth quarter on revenue of $718.9 million.
The economic calendar features the Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly mortgage application index at 7 a.m. ET; import and export prices for August at 8:30 a.m. ET; wholesale inventories for July at 10 a.m. ET; and weekly crude inventories data at 10:30 a.m. ET.
was pushing higher in late trades in the wake of CEO Mark Zuckerberg's
at a media conference in San Francisco.
The hoodie-ed one
since its landmark initial public offering and disclosed the company is not building its own mobile phone device. The stock was last quoted at $20.10, up 3.45%, on volume of 5.4 million, according to
. It went public at $38 on May 18.
Also making waves after the bell were
After getting an initial boost, TI shares dipped in late trades after the Dallas-based chip maker
for the current quarter. Meantime, Globecomm's stock plunged more than 20% after the Hauppauge, N.Y. communications networking company reported a fiscal fourth-quarter adjusted profit of 13 cents a share, well short of Wall Street's consensus estimate for earnings of 20 cents a share.
Written by Michael Baron in New York.
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