Wall Street cools off after Fed; Target wage hike; Uber vs NYC cabs

Wall Street is taking a bit of break after yesterday’s Fed-fueled rally. Stocks (^GSPC) (^DJI) (^IXIC) are mostly lower as crude prices (OIL) continue to slide and the U.S. Dollar resumes is March higher against the Euro (EURUSD=X).

Yahoo Finance Senior Columnist Michael Santoli says listen closely to Federal Reserve policy makers to see if they provide elucidation on the Fed’s decision, as they hit the speaker circuit over the next couple of days.

“The market is going to stay on Fed watch for while… in addition to looking for clues of inflation because that now seems to be the benchmark for when the Fed might set its time timetable [for raising rates],” says Santoli.

In other news…A key meeting in Belgium beginning today could decide the economic fate of Greece and sanctions against Russia over its involvement in Ukraine. European Union leaders will hear a plea from Greek officials to ease requirements on the country’s bailout. This ahead of a Friday deadline for Athens to pay back part of its debt.  Some fear that without help, Greece might be forced to abandon the euro. Meantime, Ukraine is asking member nations to keep the pressure on Moscow by extending economic sanctions past July. Those were imposed a year earlier following the downing of a Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, apparently by Russian-backed rebels. 

The Dow Jones Industrials gets a new member today. Apple (AAPL) will begin trading on the index this morning replacing AT&T (T). Apple joins other big tech names on the Dow, Microsoft (MSFT), Intel (INTC), IBM (IBM) and Cisco Systems (CSCO).

Lennar (LEN) is seeing some green shoots as the busy spring selling season gets underway. The company’s earnings and revenue topped Wall Street views in the last three months ending in February as sales continued to improve. Revenue jumping nearly 21% from a year earlier.

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A couple of retailers feeling the impact of the West Coast port dispute.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) provided a weaker-than-expected outlook for its current quarter and the year as it expects the West Coast port slowdown to take a toll on profits.  Meantime, earnings for its holiday quarter matched analysts’ estimates, but revenue fell slightly short of forecasts.

Michaels (MIK) gave a disappointing outlook for the current quarter and the year as it sees the stronger dollar and the West Coast port dispute weighing on performance. However, earnings and revenue for its holiday quarter topped estimates.

Elsewhere in the retail space…Target (TGT) is proposing to pay $ 10 million to settle a data-breach lawsuit. Under the terms, customers who can prove they were harmed by Target’s 2013 data hack would be entitled to receive up to $ 10,000.

Separately, Target is also reportedly getting set to raise its minimum wage to $ 9 per hour, following similar moves by Wal-Mart (WMT) and TJ Maxx (TJX). 

In the world of autos…Tesla (TSLA) is getting set to unveil upgrades to the Model S sedan in a press conference today. Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the update will “end range anxiety.”

The electric car company had a recent win in New Jersey, after Governor Chris Christie signed a bill to change the state’s dealership laws. Tesla sales were limited in New Jersey because the company doesn’t use independent dealerships to sell cars.

The cab race is heating up in New York City. Uber cars now outnumber yellow cabs in Manhattan, with over 14,000 Uber cars registered to be on city streets. However, the number of taxi rides still outpaces Uber rides by more than 14 to 1.

 

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