NEW YORK (TheStreet ) -- U.S. stock futures are basically flat Wednesday morning as investors wait for the announcement from the two-day FOMC meeting today. The Fed is expected to enact something called "Operation Twist" -- a tactic of selling short term debt and buying longer-term debt -- in order to bend the yield curve and hopefully keep borrowing costs low.
With the Fed Funds rate still sitting at 0, the central bank has to get creative to find ways to try to stimulate the economy. Watch for the announcement at 2:15 p.m. ET.
The big question for traders is: How will the market react to "Operation Twist?"
The infamous QE2 sparked a 7-month stock market rally that saw few significant corrections, but over the course of a week at the beginning of August, nearly all of those gains were wiped out. It seems reasonable that the market will not react as kindly to another round of stimulus given the ramifications of the last go-round. After a week long run up, could we be in for a "buy the rumor, sell the news" type scenario?
The other major headline of the day is Europe, specifically Greece. With large coupon payments due this week, Greece has been forced into talks with its European counterparts over another tranche of aid. At each turn, leaders and representatives from the "Troika" have noted progress in the discussions, but an accord has not yet been met. European markets were green earlier in their trading sessions, but have begun to unravel on the lack of a deal. The bond markets are still telling investors that a Greek default seems to be inevitable.
From a stock-specific standpoint, continue narrowing your focus onto sectors showing relative strength and weakness. If you want to buy the dips in the market, focus on the big cap tech leaders like
Amazon was leading the pack for most of last week, but this week Apple has been the strongest stock on our board. The stock exploded Monday despite a down market and extended significantly higher again yesterday before pulling in sharply with the rest of the market. Even trading above $400, Apple remains fundamentally undervalued.
On the flip side, banks continue to act weak. Last week they got a temporary boost when world central banks announced a coordinated effort to shore up the capital base of select troubled European banks. However, the move was a basic admission that a crisis could be imminent, and a Greek default would put significant pressure on banks. Look to short banks on market weakness, or even potentially playing an inverse ETF like
Direxion 3x Financial Bear ETF
long if you have the risk appetite.
In earnings news, a coal stock we often watch,
missed badly on EPS and is trading 11% lower. Walter had seen a run-up recently due to takeover speculation, but the numbers rule and it's a harsh reality for Walter investors.
DISCLOSURE: No positions
This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.