US stocks could be set for another selloff this week as the Federal Reserve is expected to announce it will keep withdrawing its economic stimulus, further pressuring equities already roiled by a flight from emerging markets.
Investor sentiment turned strongly bearish last week as emerging markets were hit by both country-specific problems and the realisation that the Fed’s trimmed bond-buying program reduces the liquidity that has boosted higher-yielding emerging market assets and put a floor under US stock prices.
The Fed’s policy-setting committee meets tomorrow and on Wednesday. Another cut to the monthly purchase of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities – to $65bn from the current $75bn – is all but certain, based on policymakers’ recent comments.
Economic data this week, including new home sales and consumer confidence, is expected to continue to paint a picture of recovery in the US economy, which could help bring buyers back into US equities.
Aside from the Fed and economic data, traders will also face this week’s flood of earnings, including results from Dow components Caterpillar, DuPont, Pfizer, AT&T and 3M.
Technology giants like Google and Facebook will also post quarterly scorecards. Apple, the largest US company by market capitalisation, will set the stage after the closing bell today.
With about a fourth of the S&P 500 components having reported earnings so far, 63.9 per cent have beaten analysts’ expectations.