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Midday Market Update

Stocks Rise Ahead of Fed


U.S. Market    
Stocks were higher this morning ahead of the conclusion of the Fed’s meeting this afternoon.

Industrial output was down 0.4% in May, In line with analyst expectations. The 4.2% drop in auto production was the biggest driver of the decrease. Overall production was down 1.4% over the last twelve months.

The Empire State Manufacturing index moved sharply higher to 6.0 in June from -9.0 in May. Any reading over zero is a sign of improving conditions and the data was well above the -5.0 expected by economists.

The producer price index rose a slightly larger-than-expected 0.4% in May as higher oil prices drove the index higher. Excluding food and energy prices, producer prices were down 0.1% in the month.

At midday the DowS&P 500 and Nasdaq were each up 0.3%. 

Stocks on the Move
Tapping into the growth of online retailing, no-moat  Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) acquired One Kings Lane  for an undisclosed amount. While management said the acquisition would be slightly dilutive to earnings in the current fiscal year, it offered little insight into the long-term top-line contribution (Forbes estimated sales around $300 million in 2013 while Bed Bath clocked $12 billion in sales in 2015) or operating margin potential (best-in-class Home Goods operating margins are about 14% versus 12% at Bed Bath) the firm might be able to capture as it grows into the discounted higher-end home furnishings and goods market. Shares rose 2.6% on the report.

Foreign Markets
European markets were higher today after days of sharp losses. The FTSE 100 was up 1%, Germany’s DAX rose 1.1% while the Paris CAC  gained 1.2%.

Asian shares were also up. The Nikkei 225 and Hang Seng each tacked on 0.4% while the Shanghai Composite gained 1.6%.

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