The FOMC decision yesterday to leave rates unchanged and commentary that it sees an improving economy and slow improvement in job growth leads the markets to still anticipate a rate cut this year, with building consensus around a September rate hike.
Outside the U.S., we also saw the notable decision by Saudi Arabia to reduce its oil production. The Saudi's had been thumbing their nose at the world and continuing with their production despite the low cost of oil in a sign of dominance over the world's oil market. A cut in production leads to hopes of increasing pricing responsibility and a recovery in the economy for many global oil producers.
U.S. stock futures have traded down further this morning following the second-quarter GDP report and jobless claims. GDP grew at a 2.3% rate, below expectations of 2.8%, in the second quarter. Consumer spending offset weakness from business spending and opens the door for a Fed rate hike. Meanwhile, jobless claims climbed last week by 12,000 to 267,000 for the week ended July 25, which compares to expectations for 270,000.
Earnings season remains in full swing with some notable earnings reports today from: Charles River Labs (CRL), Nice Systems (NICE), Helmerich & Payne (HP), Stanley Black & Decker (SWK), Air Products (APD), Cigna (CI), Linn Energy (LINE), L-3 Communications (LLL), Procter & Gamble (PG), ConocoPhillips (COP), Automatic Data Processing (ADP), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), Delphi Automotive (DLPH), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), Cardinal Health (CAH), Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT), Oshkosh (OSK), BorgWarner (BWA), Columbia Sportswear (COLM), Expedia (EXPE), Western Union (WU), Amgen (AMGN), Electronic Arts (EA), LinkedIn (LNKD), FireEye (FEYE), and KLA-Tencor (KLAC).
At 9:45 a.m. the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort report is released and at 10:30 a.m. the EIA natural-gas storage change hits the market.