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.
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.