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Daily Scan: Stocks rally before Fed announcement

By NexChange
Capital Markets


Updated throughout the day

September 16

Good evening,

The Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting on interest rates Wednesday. Everyone is wondering whether the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in nine years. Over at Quartz, Matt Phillips asks a more basic question: Does the central bank have the firepower to make it happen? The world of finance has changed dramatically since the 2008 crisis -- in part because of Fed moves. Many of its traditional tools are no longer likely pack the same wallop. What's a central bank to do? U.S. stock futures were muted ahead of the rate decision, to be announced Thursday. Stocks rose Wednesday, riding off gains from energy. The Dow was up 0.8%, the Nasdaq gained 0.6%, and the S&P 500 rose 0.9%. Oil jumped more than 5%, closing above $47/barrel. 


Here is what else you need to know:

Texas teen arrested for making a clock. Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old high school student, found himself in handcuffs after bringing a digital clock that he'd made from a pencil case to school. The school and local police accused him of creating a hoax bomb. The police say Mohamed should have told them more than the fact that the item in question was just a clock. On the upside, the attention from the arrest got Mohamed an invitation to the White House from President Obama. CNN

GM close to settlement with Justice Department over faulty ignition switch. The Justice Department is expected announce a criminal settlement with General Motors this week that will likely force GM to pay millions in fines. GM is in trouble for failing to recall millions of cars with a defective ignition and then covering it up. Wall Street Journal

GOP debate, part deux. Carla Fiorina joins 10 male candidates who will hash out the key issue of the day: How in the world did Donald Trump become the No. 1 Republican candidate? Tune in at 8 p.m. ET

FedEx earnings disappoint as freight demand drops. The global carrier got hit by a slowdown in trade. FedEx lowered the outlook for the year, to $10.40 to $10.90/share for the year ending next May, down from previous guidance of $10.60 to $11.10/share. Also hurting profits: Higher costs on its relatively new ground delivery business. MarketWatch

Gold surges as consumer price index weakens. The metal is on pace for its biggest one-day gain in a month, up 1.5%. The consumer price index in August fell 0.1%, well short of the Fed's target of annualized inflation of 2%. The news good convince the FOMC members who are meeting Wednesday and Thursday to think twice before raising interest rates. MarketWatch

No pay raises for middle income earners in 2014. The median household income was a smidgeon higher at$53,657 from 2013 when the number stood at $54,462, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. The number of Americans living at the poverty level was also unchanged at 14.8% at 46.7 million vs 46.3 million a yea

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