9:05am (EST) 

Two out of three isn’t bad…

The bulls were down but not out for much of Tuesday as Wall Street waited for clues from the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) minutes.  It always comes down to the language the Fed uses but the bottom line is that interest rates will remain low and any rate hike will depend on how well the economic recovers. 

The Fed can’t afford the dangers of a premature rate hike but they will raise rates if the economy showed signs of picking up substantially or if inflation kicks in.  

The Dow struggled for most of the day but at one point the index managed a trip to the green before finishing with a small 3 point loss to settle at 10,969.  The Dow traded as high as 10,987 on Tuesday and remains within a stone’s throw of breaking 11,000.

The S&P 500 added a couple of points and closed at 1,189 while the Nasdaq showed the most strength as it finished with a 7 point win to settle at 2,436.  The Tech-heavy index hit an intraday peak of 2,443 before settling at its highest close since August, 2008.  

Futures are pointing towards a lower open this morning and trading could be choppy ahead of the Treasury’s auction of $21 billion of 10-year notes today at 1pm. 

As we head to press, the Dow futures are off by 24 to 10,889 while the S&P 500 futures are lower by 4 points to 1,182.  The Nasdaq 100 futures are off by 6 and stand at 1,973. 

As far as earnings, Family Dollar (FDO, $37.79, up $0.30) reported a profit of $112 million, or $0.81 a share, versus $84 million, or $0.60 a share, in the year earlier period.  Wall Street was expecting earnings of $0.78 a share. 


The company also said it expects earnings of 71-76 cents a share for 3Q, above Wall Street’s forecast of 70 cents a share.  Shares are up $1.75 in pre-market action.

We have a lot to cover in our Members Area this morning so let’s get on it.