US futures are green as of 8:00 am ET and European markets have given up earlier gains, as both await the outcome of the US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this afternoon. Markets in Asia were mixed overnight, with the NIKKEI posting a slight gain and both the Hang Seng and CSI recording small losses. Oil is up this morning on a surprise drop in US stockpiles. Gold is up as the US dollar is down for its fourth day in a row.

In other news, Today’s Fed meeting will provide a quarterly update on its estimates for GDP, unemployment and inflation. It could also provide clearer guidance on what it will take to raise rates in the future. This is the Fed’s last meeting before the election and it is unlikely to take any new policy actions.

Provisional trade statistics from Japan’s Ministry of Finance released on Wednesday showed the country’s exports in August fell by 14.8% year over year. It was expected to be a 16.1% drop.

FedEx is up in the premarket as the delivery company reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit after the close on Tuesday. Price hikes, lower fuel costs and efficiency gains countered negative impacts associated with a pandemic-fueled surge in e-commerce shipments. Average daily package volume for FedEx Ground, which handles e-commerce deliveries for retailers like Walmart, jumped 31% to 11.6 million during the fiscal first quarter that ended on August 31.

One of the most anticipated IPOs of 2020 will start trading today, as data storage software company Snowflake, under the ticker SNOW, will list on the NYSE. Initially proposing a price range of $75 to $85 per share, the company increased its proposed price to $100 to $110 per share on Monday. Berkshire Hathaway has already said it will invest more than $500 million in the IPO. Salesforce.com also said it will invest.

August retail sales data will be released at 8:30 am ET on Wednesday. Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting an increase of 1.1%, compared with July’s 1.2% rise.
SPY’s trading volume of 52 million shares on Tuesday was down vs Monday’s volume, while QQQ traded 41 million shares, an increase from Monday.

High yield saw sellers again and HYG traded 22 million shares. The past two trading sessions saw big prints go up in the fund at the close.

DWS’s KOKU (Xtrackers MSCI Kokusai Equity) saw a big buyer trading over 2.5 million shares.

GlobalX saw its ETF KRMA (GlobalX Conscious Companies) trade 1.3 million shares yesterday. This was after it traded roughly the same last Friday.

Invesco saw its emerging markets ETF PXH trade over one million shares.

We have talked recently about buyers of value funds. iShares IWD (Russell 1000 Value) saw almost $500 million traded notionally, equaling 3.7 million shares, and six million new shares have been created this month. iShares MSCI USA Value Factor (VLUE) saw sellers, while trading 1.7 million shares.

Yesterday we mentioned how Deloitte said that holiday shopping online could grow as much as 35% this season to almost $200 billion. There are ETFs for that, such as Amplify Online Retail (IBUY), GlobalX E-Commerce (EBIZ) and ProShares Online Retail (ONLN). All three funds have seriously outperformed the broad market year to date.

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