Skip to main content

Stocks sat still early Tuesday as a mammoth deal in the oil and gas sector was drowned out by caution ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee's meeting.

Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading at fair value while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a half-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 3/32 in price to yield 4.54%, while the dollar firmed against the yen and euro.

Overseas markets were mixed with London's FTSE 100 up 0.1% to 5509 and Germany's Xetra DAX losing 0.2% to 5292. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.2% overnight to 15,779, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3% to 14,943.

Energy prices were also mixed, as



$36 billion acquisition of



sent natural gas futures up 26 cents to $15.11 per million British thermal units. January crude eased 12 cents to $61.18 a barrel.

While other corporate dramas played out Tuesday at




Scroll to Continue

TheStreet Recommends



, traders remained focused on the


, which is expected to raise official interest rates by a quarter-point to 4.25% after a meeting Tuesday in Washington.

Of interest to financial markets will be the wording of the FOMC's economic assessment, which could contain a rewording of the Fed's longstanding vow to raise rates at a "measured pace" at future meetings. Such a revision is viewed as the first step in the suspension of the current tightening campaign.

At Wendy's, Nelson Peltz, the Milken-era corporate raider who ran


( TRY), reportedly is proposing a further restructuring for the fast-food chain, including the complete spinoff of Tim Hortons. Wendy's agreed to a partial spinoff of the doughnut store operator under pressure from other activist hedge funds over the summer. Peltz owns a 5.5% stake in Wendy's, according to the

New York Times


Vodafone reportedly has made the highest offered in an auction for Turkish mobile phone operator Telsim, outbidding Kuwait's MTC for the company. Vodafone reportedly offered $4.55 billion for Telsim, which has about a quarter of the Turkish cell phone market.

General Motors


was lowered further into junk territory by credit analysts at Standard & Poor's, who argued that a bankruptcy filing might ultimately be the only way for the automaker to cure its ills.


( CD) says weakness in its travel division will lead to lower-than-expected earnings in the companies fourth and first quarters. For the three months ending this month, Cendant expects to earn 23 cents a share, a penny below estimates.