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Market trading flat ahead of Fed meeting

Major indices are trading pretty much break-even Wednesday morning as oil prices move lower. The Federal Reserve is expected to announce an interest rate hike this afternoon, but the market has started to discount the possibility of additional rate hikes later in the year after a weaker than expected inflation reading for the third straight month. CPI for May fell 0.1%, with analysts expecting a flat reading. Excluding food and energy, CPI was up 0.1%, also lower than the 0.2% forecast. H&R Block (HRB) is up sharply following a better than expected fourth-quarter report, with shares rising to $29.87, up $2.88 or 10.6%.

West Texas Intermediate crude is trading down $0.33 a barrel at $46.13. At present, the S&P 500 is up 0.06%, the DJIA is up 0.06%, and the NASDAQ is up 0.14%.

Here are your Tuesday morning market metrics. Industries doing well today include REIT mortgage trusts, gold, and utilities. Industries showing weakness include major financials, oil refineries, and insurance providers. The VIX is up 1.7% to 10.60 after closing on Tuesday at 10.42. The most heavily traded options this morning are for the S&P 500 SPDR ETF (SPY), with 10,630 June 245 calls on the board. The total put/call ratio as of 10:00 AM was 0.89 (295,315/262,091). The advancers/decliners ratio for the NYSE is 1,395/1,451 and for the NASDAQ, 1,095/1,548.

Michael Fowlkes

Michael Fowlkes is a financial writer who has been with the Fresh Brewed Media family since 2004. Over the course of his tenure with Fresh Brewed Media, he has worn many hats, including portfolio manager, options analyst, and writer. Michael received his undergraduate degree from Virginia Tech in Accounting and got his start in finance working as a stock trader for six years at Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Va.