Facebook’s earnings and a Fed meeting — 5 things to know today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street is having a mixed morning after markets took a beating yesterday, hit hard by disappointing earnings. The Dow closed Tuesday down 291 points, having tumbled 390 points earlier in the session. Today, traders will face more earnings from the likes of Boeing (FB), Qualcomm (QCOM), and Facebook (FB). And they’ll likely find something to cheer about after tech giant Apple’s (AAPL) remarkable quarterly report that came after Tuesday’s close.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Federal Reserve announces latest policy guidance.
The Fed is unlikely to unveil any big moves when the Federal Open Market Committee releases its policy statement later today at the conclusion of a two-day meeting. Officials are expected to repeat the Fed’s promise to be “patient” as it nears its first interest rate increase since 2006, and rates are likely to remain at their current near-zero level at least through the middle of this year. Don’t wait around for Chairman Janet Yellen to take to the podium this time — there will be no press conference and no new economic projections.
2. Facebook reports earnings after market close.
The social network will release its fourth-quarter earnings results this afternoon and is expected to report a 46% jump in revenue, a credit to its expanding mobile ad sales. Facebook’s stock is up by more than 30% over the past 12 months due to impressive financial showings, though this quarter may likely signal a change. Management has indicated that the fourth quarter had slowing revenue growth and higher expenses.
Aerospace giant Boeing and leading mobile chipmaker Qualcomm also report earnings today.
3. China lowers its economic growth outlook, again.
Chinese officials set this year’s GDP target at “around 7%,” its lowest benchmark in 11 years, reported Reuters. Leaders are trying to manage slowing growth, increase job creation, and pursue pro-market reforms. The growth target is expected to be officially announced by Premier Li Keqiang in March at the annual parliament session, although the 7% rate has been endorsed by top officials since December. China’s economy grew at 7.4% in 2014 after officials set a target of 7.5% for the year.
4. Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch faces Senate commitee.
Lynch will face the Senate Judiciary Committee today and will answer questions around immigration, guns, civil rights, and national security. Lynch will position herself as a departure from Eric Holder, who often clashed with Congressional Republicans. If confirmed, Lynch would be the first African-American woman to serve as attorney general.
5. Uzi is up for sale.
The developer of the Uzi submachine gun is being put up for sale by the Israeli government. The move kicks off a wider privatization project that could raise about $3.75 billion over the next three years. Israeli Military Industries, or IMI, will connect with investors interested in the Uzi developer within the next two months and expects the sale to be complete by 2016. The arms manufacturer could fetch more than $500 million.