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

Stocks End Moderately Lower, All Eyes On The Fed Today

Stocks closed moderately lower, although well off their intraday lows.

Yesterday's Housing starts and Permits report showed Starts and 1.283 million units (annualized) vs. last month's downwardly revised 1.447M and views for 1.435M. Permits, however, jumped to 1.543M vs. last month's upwardly revised 1.443M and views for 1.440M. That was a 6.93% increase vs. last month.

In other news, the UAW strike enters its sixth day today. The union has said they intend to expand the work stoppage at other plants if significant progress isn't made in the talks.

All eyes will be on today's FOMC announcement. At the moment, the odds of a rate hike are only at roughly 1%. But the odds shift to 34% when they meet in November.

While today's expected pause looks like a done deal (although, nothing is actually done until it's done), what everyone is truly interested in is what does the Fed see happening on rates in November, and December for that matter? While it's highly unlikely they would explicitly spell that out, people will be scrutinizing every word, and compare that to the language they used in their previous announcement. Moreover, Fed Chair Jerome Powell, will give his customary Fed Chair Press Conference following the announcement. The announcement comes out at 2:00 PM ET. The press conference takes place at 2:30 PM ET.

There is still time to turn September around. But that only leaves 8 trading days to do so. Although, that's plenty.

For the month, the Dow is only down -0.58%, the S&P is down -1.41%, and the Nasdaq is down -2.54%. But just one or two good days could erase those losses and put them back in the green.

A market-friendly Fed announcement would help get that party started.

We shall see.

See you tomorrow,

Kevin Matras

Executive Vice President, Zacks Investment Research


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