Rate Cut Expected Today

Investors await several economic indicators today including the consumer price index and housing starts data as well as news from the Fed regarding interest rates and the central bank, Reuters reported. The Fed is expected to lower interest rates closer to zero and point toward emergency tools it could deploy to end a year-long recession, the report stated. Goldman Sachs is expected to report a quarterly loss of as much as $2.5 billion, hit by the falling value of many of its investments, the report stated. Apart from Goldman Sachs, companies reporting earnings on today include Adobe Systems and Best Buy Co Inc. Costco Wholesale Corp’s quarterly profit rose slightly as strong results from its gasoline stations helped to offset weak consumer demand for all but the most essential household items, according to the report. American International Group, the insurer bailed out by the U.S. government in September, said it sold $39.3 billion of assets to a fund established by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Reuters stated. Shares of real-estate investment trusts traded lower Monday as disappointing corporate news from the sector fed concerns that the credit crunch and a slowing economy will continue to weigh on owners of commercial properties, according to MarketWatch. Mall developer General Growth Properties Inc. said it hasn’t yet been able to reach a deal with its lenders to further extend the maturity date on $900 million in mortgage loans and Developers Diversified Realty Corp. said a previously announced deal to sell assets to a joint venture with an institutional investor would not close in December as had been expected, MarketWatch reported. Shares of Developers Diversified and General Growth were both down more than 10 percent Monday morning while ProLogis was another big percentage decliner in the REIT sector and was off about 10 percent, as well, the report stated. World stocks markets edged higher in cautious trade Tuesday ahead of an expected interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve, according to the Associated Press. European stocks rose early going, tracking most markets in Asia after a session marked by thin and directionless trade, according to the  Associated Press. IIn Hong Kong and Shanghai, stocks opened in the red but bounced back modestly after the head of China’s central bank said more rate cuts could be in the offing, the report added.