Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are a tad lower this morning ahead of the all-important meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee meeting, which some people expect to deliver the first rise in U.S. interest rates in nearly a decade. The dollar is a shade higher against the euro, and crude oil futures are higher at $45.41 a barrel. The Fed’s decision isn’t expected till tomorrow.
Today’s must-read story is by Fortune’s Leena Rao on the creators behind the new Kardashian apps. Whalerock Industries is helping celebrities control their own online destinies, and it looks like the company may be onto something. The Kardashian apps became the most downloaded via Apple’s store one day after their launch. Read more here.
Here’s what else you need to know.
1. Mega-merger between the world’s top two brewing groups
AB InBev, the company behind Budweiser and Corona, is planning to bid for SABMiller in a deal that would be by far the biggest ever in the food and drink sector. SABMiller, which makes Coors, Foster’s and Grolsch among many other brands, said it has been notified of AB InBev’s intention to make an offer but that it hasn’t received any details yet. The two companies have a market value of $245 billion but would likely be forced to spin off a large number of their brands due to antitrust concerns in many parts of the world.
2. Fed kicks off its much awaited September meeting.
The Federal Open Markets Committee starts its two-day meeting today, which investors have been anxiously awaiting. There’s been much speculation that the Fed could finally raise interest rates at this meeting, though the volatility in financial markets over the past several weeks could delay that decision. Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen has been very quiet in the weeks leading up to the meeting, giving investors very little to read into. Feeling lost? Fortune rounded up the five articles to help you better understand the situation.
3. An inflation update.
The Labor Department comes out with its August update on consumer prices today, which are expected to remain unchanged given falling gasoline prices and a strong dollar that balanced underlying inflation. The Fed has been aiming for a 2% inflation rate, but it’s consistently run below that target. That could end up weighing on the group’s decision to raise interest rates. The expected flat inflation reading follows a meager 0.1% gain in July.
4. Oracle’s earnings.
Software maker Oracle (ORCL) reports its fiscal first-quarter revenue today after the market close. It had a rough fourth quarter, and analysts are expecting much more this quarter. Analysts expect Oracle to report earnings per share of 52 cents, down from 62 cents a year earlier, according to FactSet. The 38-year-old company is trying to make the shift to more cloud-based services rather than installed software. It’s had some success but the move isn’t happening fast enough to make up for the decline in traditional software sales.
Also reporting today: FedEx (FDX).
5. A meeting of the financial services minds.
Top financial service companies will gather in New York today for the three-day Barclays financial services conference. Executives from a range of companies, including UBS (UBS), Nasdaq (NDAQ), CME Group (CME), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), Citigroup (C), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Allstate (ALL), are scheduled to speak.