Earnings Previews: Accenture, Adobe, Darden Restaurants

The three major U.S. equity indexes closed higher on Tuesday. After a blistering start to the day, equities lost their steam as traders curbed their enthusiasm for the good consumer price index report. The Dow Jones industrials ended the day up 0.30%, while the S&P 500 closed 0.73% higher and the Nasdaq up 1.01%. Ten of 11 sectors closed higher, with real estate (2.04%) and energy (1.77%) adding the most. Consumer staples (−0.17%) was the day’s only loser.

Wednesday morning, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue its weekly report on petroleum inventories. Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute reported crude inventories rose by 7.82 million barrels last week, largely thanks to a release of 4.7 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Gasoline and distilled (diesel) stocks also rose.

The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) will end its two-day meeting Wednesday and announce its interest rate decision at 2 p.m. ET. Economists expect an interest rate increase of half a percentage point, from a current range of 3.75% to 4.00% to a new range of 4.25% to 4.50%.

On Thursday, the Census Bureau releases November data on retail sales. The consensus estimate calls for a decline of 0.2%, compared to an increase of 1.3% in October.

The three major indexes were trading slightly lower in Wednesday’s premarket.

Before U.S. markets opened on Wednesday, Scorpio Tankers issued a fourth-quarter update that was basically in line with expectations. The stock added about 1.8% in the premarket session.

Arqit Quantum traded down by about 2.6% after disclosing that it will abandon its quantum satellite technology after a review revealed that security for its end-point encryption keys is equally strong when terrestrially based as when satellite based. The company has a buyer for its in-process satellite but will build no more and it is seeking a buyer for its intellectual property. Arqit also filed a shelf registration for $100 million in new stock issuances.

Weber posted a wider-than-expected loss per share and lower-than-expected revenue for its fourth quarter. Shares dropped by less than 1%. The company continues to estimate going private in the first half of next year.

After markets close Wednesday or before they open on Thursday, Jabil, Lennar, Planet Labs and are on deck to report quarterly results. (Note: Jabil was included in the report by mistake. The company reports after markets close Thursday.)

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