Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - BUSINESS -

Fo­cus on the Fed

The Fed­eral Re­serve re­leases to­day the min­utes of a re­cent two-day meet­ing of its pol­i­cy­mak­ers.

Af­ter the meet­ing ear­lier this month, cen­tral bank of­fi­cials sug­gested that the Fed might re­sume rais­ing its key short-term in­ter­est rate at its next meet­ing in mid-De­cem­ber. The cen­tral bank has kept the rate at a record low near zero since the on­set of the fi­nan­cial cri­sis seven years ago. The Fed last raised in­ter­est rates in De­cem­ber, 2015.

Down­beat re­sults?

Wall Street ex­pects quar­terly earn­ings for Mo­line, Illi­nois’ Deere & Co. de­clined from a year ear­lier.

The farm­ing and con­struc­tion equip­ment maker has strug­gled to boost earn­ings amid a weak global farm econ­omy and a down­turn in con­struc­tion. A record corn har­vest has de­pressed prices, mark­ing three straight years that most corn farm­ers lost money on vir­tu­ally ev­ery cob. Deere is due to re­port fis­cal fourth-quar­ter re­sults to­day.

Eye on hous­ing

De­mand for new U.S. homes is up sharply this year, a trend that’s helped fuel new res­i­den­tial con­struc­tion.

New-home sales hit a sea­son­ally ad­justed an­nual rate of 593,000 units in Septem­ber. That’s an in­crease of nearly 30 per­cent from a year ear­lier. Even so, economists ex­pect the pace of new-home sales slowed slightly last month. The Com­merce Depart­ment re­ports its lat­est data on new-home sales to­day.

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