- Further US sanctions possible this week
- Traders on sidelines ahead of FOMC
- Oracle and Fed move higher despite weak earnings
Dow Jones Industrials: 0.01%
Nasdaq Composite: -0.05%
S&P 500: 0.04%
The main US equity benchmarks were continuing to tread water ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy decision tonight.
The central bank is widely expected to slash monthly bond purchases by a further $10bn to $55bn and keep its benchmark rate at 0.25% when it wraps up its two-day meeting later on.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen will address a press conference following the announcement. It will be her first meeting as Fed Chair after taking over from Ben Bernanke on February 3rd.
Further US sanctions possible this week
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama has called for a meeting with G7 today in the Netherlands to discuss further action on the situation between Ukraine and Russia.
UK Prime Minister David Cameron has reportedly called for economic sanctions to be agreed upon at tomorrow's meeting of the European Council, according to remarks from some of those expected to attend the meeting, such as Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
The latest information points to divisions between France and Germany over whether to permanently oust Russia from the G-8.
Bloomberg cited analysts according to whom there was a rising possibility that Washington will target the assets of several state-owned enterprises as early as this week.
KB Homes and Fed Ex rise
Builder KB Homes was also higher after reporting first-quarter revenue of $450.7m, comfortably above analysts' estimates.
Stock in Fed Ex is up despite the release of weaker than expected quarterly earnings as a result of poor winter weather.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. is reportedly selling its physical commodities business to Swiss trade house Mercuria.
Google has revealed plans to help develop smart watches and other wearable computers based on its Android mobile operating system.
The best performance was to be seen in the following industrial groups: home construction (2.41%), health care providers (1.93%) and business training (1.46%).
Current account deficit narrowed in fourth quarter
The US current account deficit dropped to the equivalent of 1.9% of gross domestic product during the last three months of 2013 from 2.3% in the third quarter, thanks to a reduction in oil imports and buoyant global equity markets.
Back in the US, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) said mortgage applications fell 1.2% in the week to March 14th, compared to a drop of 2.1% a week earlier.
Crude futures edge higher
Front month West Texas crude futures are higher by 0.30% to $99.96/barrel out on NYMEX.
10-year US treasury yields were up by three basis points to the 2.70% mark.
S&P 500 - Risers
First Solar Inc. (FSLR) $65.84 +14.39%
Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD) $47.77 +4.12%
CIGNA Corp. (CI) $80.70 +3.87%
Lennar Corp. Class A (LEN) $42.12 +3.74%
F5 Networks Inc. (FFIV) $114.68 +3.52%
Humana Inc. (HUM) $116.87 +3.01%
Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) $76.75 +2.88%
Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) $31.35 +2.59%
Juniper Networks Inc. (JNPR) $26.56 +2.51%
Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) $18.68 +2.44%
S&P 500 - Fallers
Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE) $66.72 -2.63%
Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ALXN) $176.67 -2.36%
Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD) $184.32 -2.01%
Consolidated Edison Inc. (ED) $53.34 -1.97%
CBRE Group Inc (CBG) $27.74 -1.94%
NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) $37.81 -1.79%
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) $66.31 -1.62%
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (GT) $27.29 -1.48%
Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp. (CTSH) $50.35 -1.45%
Corning Inc. (GLW) $19.03 -1.42%
Dow Jones I.A - Risers
Unitedhealth Group Inc. (UNH) $80.03 +2.60%
Intel Corp. (INTC) $25.15 +1.33%
AT&T Inc. (T) $33.30 +0.96%
Home Depot Inc. (HD) $80.27 +0.56%
Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) $46.89 +0.41%
Coca-Cola Co. (KO) $38.55 +0.39%
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) $21.71 +0.39%
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) $94.13 +0.20%
Nike Inc. (NKE) $79.75 +0.14%
Travelers Company Inc. (TRV) $84.02 +0.08%
Dow Jones I.A - Fallers
Walt Disney Co. (DIS) $81.31 -0.83%
General Electric Co. (GE) $25.45 -0.78%
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) $39.37 -0.46%
McDonald's Corp. (MCD) $96.88 -0.44%
American Express Co. (AXP) $91.21 -0.41%
United Technologies Corp. (UTX) $114.22 -0.40%
Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) $79.48 -0.36%
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) $66.56 -0.36%
International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) $186.27 -0.29%
Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) $96.14 -0.28%