Today's report of the minutes of the FOMC meeting from late April was full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. The broader U.S. stock market averages were little changed ahead of the report and ended that way for a second straight session. Telecom names were the winners on Wednesday, while industrial and financial stocks lagged.
The Fed minutes seemed to take a June interest rate hike off the table. Fed funds futures are predicting 21% chance of a rate hike by September, 39% by October and 56% by December. I continue to believe that poor/mixed economic data will preclude the FOMC from raising interest rates until 2016.
Airline stocks were particularly soft during the session, following talk from Southwest Airlines (LUV) of increasing capacity. American Airlines (AAL) was the big loser of the session, declining 10%. On the other hand, Cablevision (CVC) gained 17% on continued speculation of industry consolidation.
In after-hours action, Williams-Sonoma (WSM) and Salesforce.com (CRM) are each trading 4% higher after posting quarterly results. Meanwhile, NetApp (NTAP) is down 8% after announcing lower-than-expected numbers.
Looking ahead to Thursday morning, Best Buy (BBY) will headline the earnings calendar. On the economic front, we'll get a look at Chicago economic activity, in addition to the weekly initial jobless claims, before the opening bell.