The major averages spent the morning in the green following better than expected data releases for Germany and China that helped to underpin sentiment and confidence in the recovery ahead of central bank decisions in the U.S., Japan and the U.K. While the Fed, BoJ and BoE are not expected to add to already generous support at the moment, they are all expected to stick with their "lower-for longer" messaging. While the Nasdaq finished the day with an advance of over 1%, the Dow gave up almost all of its gains by the close of the session ahead of tomorrow's policy statement from the Federal Reserve.
ECONOMIC EVENTS: In the U.S., import prices jumped 0.9% and export prices rose 0.5% in August. Industrial production increased 0.4% in August, which was weaker than expected although it marks a fourth monthly gain. The Empire State index surged 13.3 points to 17.0 in September
The Fed began its two-day meeting and will release its policy statement and new Summary of Economic Projections on Wednesday at 2 pm ET. FOMC Forecast revisions, which will be released with the FOMC statement, will likely show out-sized boosts in the official 2020 GDP forecasts, followed by a smaller 2021-23 bounce. Analysts also expect big downward revisions in the jobless rate estimates across the horizon, increases in the inflation forecasts, and a flat Fed funds rate trajectory through 2023 that is consistent with the Fed's shift to average inflation targeting.
After China requested consultations with the United States concerning certain tariff measures on Chinese goods, the WTO released its panel report, which concluded in part that the U.S. "had not provided an explanation demonstrating how the imposition of additional duties on the selected imported products in List 1 and List 2 was apt to contribute to the public morals objective invoked, and, following on from that, how they were necessary to protect public morals." The WTO panel found that the U.S. "had not met its burden of demonstrating that the measures are provisionally justified," the report stated.
TOP NEWS: Apple (AAPL) shares were in focus after the tech giant's live-streamed new product presentation, during which it unveiled two new Apple Watch devices, two new iPads, Apple Fitness+, and a new service called Apple One that gives users access to multiple Apple services under one monthly subscription. Of note, Apple's upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 will come with a blood oxygen monitor, and its upcoming revamped iPad Air will feature a "powerful" A14 Bionic processor.
Shares of Kraft Heinz (KHC) finished the day fractionally higher after the company announced a new strategy and operating model as part of its virtual investor day. Concurrent with the event, Kraft Heinz also announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its Natural, Grated, Cultured and Specialty cheese businesses to a U.S. affiliate of Groupe Lactalis for a purchase price of $3.2B.
3M (MMM) reported sales for August increased 2% year-on-year to $2.7B and gave Q3 revenue guidance of $8.2B-$8.3B, which tops the consensus forecast of $8.01B. 3M shares slipped 1.1% following the sales update.
Shares of Nano-X Imaging (NNOX) dropped 22.8% after Andrew Left's Citron Research claimed in a new short report that the shares of the newly public company are heading to zero. The short-seller's report came on the same morning that a number of Wall Street analysts rolled out their coverage of the stock after Nano-X came public last month.
In other short-seller news, Hindenburg Research said in a followup to last week's short report that Nikola's (NKLA) response yesterday was a "tacit admission of securities fraud." Later in the session, Financial Times reported that the U.S. Department of Justice has been making inquiries into the claims made against Nikola in the short seller's report.
Meanwhile, the Financial Times reported that China's ByteDance will put TikTok's global business in a new U.S.-headquartered company, with Oracle (ORCL) taking a minority stake in all of TikTok and not just the U.S. operations. Sources told the FT that other U.S. investors potentially including Walmart (WMT), which had launched a joint bid with Microsoft (MSFT), would own a minority stake.
MAJOR MOVERS: Among the noteworthy gainers was Marinus Pharmaceuticals (MRNS), which jumped 51.7% after ganaxolone met its primary endpoint in a Phase 3 trial. Also higher was Amyris (AMRS), which gained 8.3% after its Reb M sweetener received approval in Canada.
Among the notable losers was Forterra (FRTA), which slid 9.5% after offering of 10M shares of common stock for holders. Also lower was Lennar (LEN), which fell 3.9% after reporting quarterly results.
INDEXES: The Dow rose 2.27, or 0.008%, to 27,995.60, the Nasdaq gained 133.67, or 1.21%, to 11,190.32, and the S&P 500 advanced 17.66, or 0.52%, to 3,401.20.