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LONDON -- The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI ) is expected to open largely flat this morning as the market treads water ahead of today's Federal Open Market Committee announcement, due at 12:30 p.m. EDT. The market is hoping for details of new stimulus measures, which would most likely mean an extension of Operation Twist.
Other economic data due today is likely to be overshadowed by the Fed's decision, but the latest data on crude-oil inventories in the EIA Petroleum Report may be of interest. Interestingly, CNN's Fear & Greed Index has continued to rise this week, indicating a lessening of fear in the markets. The index closed at 38 last night, but any failure by the Fed to deliver today could provoke a fall back into "extreme fear."
In London, the FTSE 100 (INDEX: ^FTSE ) traded largely unchanged through the morning and was unmoved by the news that the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted 5-4 against further quantitative easing at its June meeting, with the Bank's Governor Mervyn King voting in favor. This news may raise expectations for July, however, given that it in May the MPC voted 7-2 against QE; it's getting closer to a "yes" vote.
The FTSE 100 was also waiting for the Fed's announcement, but this is not due until after the London markets close, so it will not directly impact today's trading. At 7 a.m. EDT, the FTSE 100 was up by 0.39%, while the DAX was up just 0.15% and the CAC 40 was down 0.23%.
European markets were also calm, helped perhaps by vague suggestions emerging from the G20 conference that meaningful action to help resolve the Eurozone crisis will result from the EU leaders' summit at the end of June. Spanish 10-year bond yields managed to drop below 7% this morning, although they remain dangerously elevated at 6.9%. Farther south, Greece is expected to confirm the formation of a three-party coalition government later today, although it won't be sworn in until at least Friday. The main indexes in the three most troubled European economies were the biggest risers, with Italy's FTSE MIB up 1.26% at 7 a.m. EDT, Spain's IBEX 35 up by 0.73%, and Greek's Athex Composite Share Price Index up by 1.41%.
Companies that may be active in trading today include Adobe Systems (Nasdaq: ADBE ) , which fell more than 3% in after-market trading last night following a disappointing earnings outlook in its latest quarterly figures. Earnings are due today from Micron Tech and Bed Bath & Beyond, amongst others.
Elsewhere, the bid by Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway to purchase ResCap's loan assets is continuing to progress, but one deal Buffett already has completed successfully is the expansion of his holding in a major British blue-chip brand to more than 5%. The company, which is expanding fast in the U.S., is a classic Buffett buy -- and you can find out the identity of the company and exactly why the world's third-richest man likes it so much in this special free report.
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