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Kevin Matras   
Profit from the Pros
By Kevin Matras
Executive Vice President
Zacks Investment Research

Stocks Close Lower Ahead Of Today's FOMC Announcement

Stocks closed lower yesterday. But the lion's share of Monday's spectacular rebound from their correction lows remains intact.

There was bound to be some retracing yesterday. And there was.

Stocks looked oversold heading into Monday. Even more so intraday. And they still do after yesterday.

The Dow and the S&P, after touching into 'correction' territory briefly on Monday, remain in 'pullback' territory with a decline from their highs of -7.18% and -9.59% respectively. The Nasdaq remains in correction territory with a decline of -16.5%. (For the record, the small-cap Russell 2000 index is currently down -18.5% from their highs, which also puts them in correction territory.)

Position squaring ahead of today's FOMC Announcement ruled the day.

But as I wrote yesterday, I don't know what all of the angst is about. The Fed has already said they expect to unwind their bond-buying by mid-March rather than June. So we already know that. And they've suggested they could raise rates 3-4 times this year, and won't likely begin until after they're done with QE. So we already know that too.

We'll get the FOMC Meeting Announcement this afternoon at 2:00 PM ET, followed by the Fed Chair Press Conference at 2:30.

In other news, yesterday's Redbook report showed same store retail sales up 15.6% y/y vs. last week's pace of 15.2%.

The Case-Shiller Home Price Index rose 1.2% vs. last month's upwardly revised 1.0% and views for 1.0% as well.

The Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index missed expectations with a print of 8 vs. the consensus for 14.

But Consumer Confidence beat expectations with a reading of 113.8 vs. estimates for 111.9.

In addition to the FOMC Announcement today, we'll get a slate of other reports including MBA Mortgage Applications, New Home Sales, Retail and Wholesale Inventories, the Survey of Business Uncertainty, and the State Street Investor Confidence Index.

But the Fed is the main event.

So get ready because today could be a busy day.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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