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Daily Agenda: Markets Await Fed Call

ECB president Mario Draghi leaves rates unchanged; Uber receives capital from Saudi Arabia; Ciena profits are less painful than forecast.

As investors digest the monthly interest-rate announcement by the European Central Bank and an announcement from the meetin g of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna later today, markets appear little changed this morning. An employment report in the U.S. due tomorrow remains the primary focus for speculators with expectations for a Federal Reserve rate-hike announcement if the job market continues to solidify. Given growing doubts that further easing from the Bank of Japan is unlikely due to balance sheet limitations, a narrative that central banks have finally reached the end of their extraordinary low-rate stimulus policy has begun to reverberate among market participants.

Saudi wealth fund buys Uber stake. Uber Technologies announced yesterday that the Public Investment Fund for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has pledged a $3.5 billion investment into the U.S.-based ride sharing company. An anticipated initial public offering for the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, better known as Aramco, in the coming year is expected to swell the Saudi sovereign funds coffers to more than $2 trillion.

Ciena beats estimates. First-quarter financial results released today by Hanover, Maryland-based telecommunicatins networking company Ciena Corp. exceeded consensus analyst targets significantly, driving share prices for the firm higher by more than 10 percent before normal trading hours. The company reported earnings of 10 per share versus a prior 17 cents as sales exceeded expectations.

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