Markets & News

Five Things You Need to Know to Start Your Day

The Fed holds, markets are rallying, and a legendary investor is accused of insider trading. Here are some of the things that people in markets are talking about today.

Fed holds, for now

The probability of the next Federal Reserve rate hike coming by the end of the year rose to over 60 percent following yesterday’s Federal Open Market Committee statement, which showed that three voting members dissented from the majority view to hold interest rates unchanged. While the committee recognized that the case for rising rates had strengthened, it decided to hold of on a hike – for the time being. If there was some clarity from the Fed, yesterday’s Bank of Japan decision still has investors scratching their heads, wondering exactly what the bank’s target for the yield curve is.

Cooperman charges

Legendary investor Leon Cooperman has been accused of insider trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to securities issued by Atlas Pipeline Partners and bought in 2010. Cooperman said that neither he nor his fund engaged in unlawful conduct. The trades had raised suspicions at the time, even from Cooperman’s own son. Shares in companies that list Cooperman’s fund as major stockholders declined following the announcement of the charges.

Markets rise

Overnight, the MSCI Asia Pacific Excluding Japan Index climbed 1 percent, for its sixth successive day of gains. Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 1.3 percent higher at 6:07 a.m. ET, as strategists upgrade their year-end forecasts for the gauge. S&P 500 futures added 0.2 percent.

Miner rally

Mining shares have been on something of a tear, with Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd. both adding more than 10 percent this week. Glencore Plc’s share price passed 200 pence in trading this morning, and reached 205.60 by 6:14 a.m. ET, the highest level in over a year. The rally in base metals such as copper, zinc, and coking coal have been driving much of the gains. Gold remains range-bound.

Coming up…

Initial jobless claims are due at 8:30 a.m. ET, with expectations for a broadly unchanged reading of 261,000. Economists predict a rise to 5.45 million when existing home sales numbers come in at 10 a.m. Following the Fed’s statement yesterday, investors will be on the lookout for any disappointing data that may derail the view that the economy continues to strengthen.