Investors will be keeping their eye on the Federal Reserve today as it concludes a meeting in Washington. Whatever anxiety they felt yesterday wasn't apparent in the performance of stocks, which rose. The S&P 500 was five points below its record high reached on Aug. 2. It has risen for three trading days in a row and 10 of the last 11. Based on futures trading, Wall Street appears headed for a higher opening today.
- International stock markets rose modestly today as investor tensions eased before the Federal Reserve winds up a crucial policy meeting later in the day. Benchmark crude oil rose above $106 per barrel. The dollar gained against the euro and fell against the yen.
- Many investors expect the Federal Reserve to change course today to begin slowing the economic stimulus it's supplied since the financial crisis and the Great Recession. The Fed concludes its regular policy meeting today and is expected to tread carefully with a small cut in its monthly Treasury and mortgage bond purchases.
- Greek civil servants walked off their jobs today at the start of a two-day nationwide strike protesting planned job cuts required as part of the country's international bailout. The strike affected all public services across Greece. The walkouts are the first widespread strike action after the summer and aim to put pressure on the coalition government to repeal unpopular austerity measures. Officials have vowed not to back down.
- The inspector general of the IRS says budget cuts are undercutting the agency's ability to go after tax cheats. A report by inspector general J. Russell George says that tax collections from enforcement actions dropped by 9 percent in the 2012 budget year, to a little more than $50 billion. It was the second year in a row that enforcement collections dropped. In 2011, enforcement revenue dropped by more than $2 billion. Last year, it dropped by $5 billion more. The report out yesterday says that during this same period, the IRS was opening more delinquent taxpayer accounts than it was closing.
© 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. Material may not be redistributed.