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Midday Market Update

Stocks Slightly Lower Ahead of Fed Statement

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U.S. Market    
Stocks were slightly lower at midday as markets prepare for a statement from the Federal Open Market Committee following its policy meeting, which ends today.

Other economic news flow was slow Wednesday. 

At midday, the Dow, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were each 0.1% lower. 

Stocks on the Move
 FedEx (FDX) posted a 45% drop in fourth-quarter net income, with a profit of $303 million compared with $550 million the same time last year, as restructuring charges cut into the firm's bottom line. However, adjusted earnings exceeded the company's forecast, and revenue was in line with Wall Street expectations. That said, FedEx's adjusted earnings-per-share outlook for the fiscal year called for growth of 7%-13%, lower than the Street's forecast of 21%. Still, shares were 3.3% higher at midday. 

Despite a 66% decline in second-quarter earnings, reported late Tuesday,  Adobe Systems' (ADBE) shares were up by 6.7% at midday as the company deferred some of its online subscription-services revenue to future quarters. Adobe also saw a 44% quarter-over-quarter increase in subscriber growth, and  adoption rates of Creative Cloud were strong in North America.

 DISH Network (DISH) announced that it will not counter Softbank's latest bid for  Sprint Nextel (S), clearing the way for Sprint shareholders to vote on the proposed Softbank transaction June 25. While disappointing for Sprint shareholders, DISH's decision is in keeping with  Morningstar analysts' view that the latest Softbank bid would be difficult to match. The battle among DISH, Sprint, and Softbank is likely to now turn in full to Clearwire (CLWR) . Analysts expect Sprint will prevail in acquiring Clearwire, but the price is uncertain at this point. DISH shares were 3.3% higher at midday. Sprint shares had lost 2.7%, while Clearwire shares were up by 1.1%. 

Foreign Markets
European stocks were weak on Fed uncertainty. The FTSE 100 and the DAX each lost 0.4%, while the Paris CAC was 0.6% lower. 

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite was down by 0.7%, and the Hang Seng was 1.1% lower. The Nikkei 225, however, finished 1.8% higher.

Kevin O'Shaughnessy does not own (actual or beneficial) shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar’s editorial policies.