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North American Morning Briefing: Stock Futures -2-

09/22/2021 | 06:13am EDT

The central bank in July gave its first signal that officials were more confident the economy was meeting their goals. Since then, senior leaders including Fed Chairman Jerome Powell have indicated they could start to reduce, or taper, those purchases this year.

Read More ->

Ifo Institute Cuts Growth Forecast for Germany in 2021 to 2.5%

The Ifo Institute has cut its growth forecast for Germany in 2021 by 0.8 percentage point to 2.5%, as the economy didn't rebound as strongly as expected in the third quarter.

The Ifo downgraded its forecasts for 2021, but raised its growth forecast for 2022 by 0.8 percentage point to 5.1%. In 2023, growth will be 1.5%, the Ifo said.

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BOJ Sticks to Ultra-Easy Monetary Policy Path

TOKYO--The Bank of Japan on Wednesday confirmed it would stick to an ultra-easy monetary policy, while other major central banks are moving toward scaling back their asset purchases.

The Japanese central bank maintained its target for short-term interest rates at minus 0.1% and its target for the 10-year Japanese government bond yield at around zero. It also reiterated that it would purchase JGBs without an upper limit.

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Infrastructure Plan Faces Fresh Uncertainty as Democrats Remain Divided

WASHINGTON-Persistent divisions among Democrats over the size of their climate and social-welfare plan are threatening to derail much of President Biden's agenda, as progressives signal that they could block passage of a roughly $1 trillion infrastructure package next week.

As the party struggles to find a path forward, Mr. Biden plans to meet Wednesday with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) at the White House to discuss the two proposals, according to a person familiar with his schedule. Mr. Biden was also expected to convene a group of House and Senate Democrats to discuss the proposals as he takes a more prominent role in steering his legislative agenda through Congress.

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Debt-Limit Suspension Passes House, Faces Standoff in Senate

WASHINGTON-The House passed Tuesday a measure keeping the government funded until early December and suspending its borrowing limit through 2022, but without having resolved the partisan standoff poised to derail it in the Senate.

With less than two weeks before the government's current funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Oct. 1, the House passed in a 220-211 party-line vote a package unveiled earlier in the day that would fund the government through Dec. 3, 2021, and suspend the debt limit through Dec. 16, 2022. The Treasury Department is currently using emergency measures to cover America's bills for several months until the debt limit is raised or suspended again.

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SEC's Gensler Doesn't See Cryptocurrencies Lasting Long

WASHINGTON-Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Gary Gensler said Tuesday he doesn't see much long-term viability for cryptocurrencies, underscoring the importance of protecting investors in the market and bringing it under regulatory oversight.

Mr. Gensler likened the thousands of cryptocurrencies in existence to the so-called wildcat banking era that took hold in the U.S. from 1837 until 1863 in the absence of federal bank regulation. Before President Abraham Lincoln created the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, banks issued their own currencies, which they sometimes refused to redeem for their purported value in gold or silver.

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Liz Cheney's Re-Election Bid Pits Trump Against Bush

WASHINGTON-The race for Wyoming's single U.S. House district has pitted two of the biggest names in Republican politics against one another: both of the party's living former presidents.

Former President George W. Bush's first campaign event of the 2022 midterms will be a fundraiser to support Rep. Liz Cheney, the Wyoming Republican who is among former President Donald Trump's top targets to unseat. The fundraiser will be held next month in Dallas, according to a copy of an invitation viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

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U.S., Russian Military Officials Meet Amid Concerns About Terrorism Fight

HELSINKI-The Pentagon's top officer met with his Russian counterpart in the Finnish capital Wednesday amid American and allied efforts to find ways to fight terrorism after the departure of U.S. and allied troops from Afghanistan last month.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley met here with Chief of Russian General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov, officials said. U.S. military officials declined to provide any details of the meeting, except to issue a brief statement saying the two discussed "risk reduction and operational de-confliction."

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Most of $9.2 Billion in Questionable Medicare Payments Went to 20 Insurers, Federal Investigators Say

Medicare insurers drew $9.2 billion in federal payments in one year through controversial billing practices, with 20 companies benefiting disproportionately and together accounting for more than half of the total, according to federal health investigators.

The findings by the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services are the latest sign of growing scrutiny of Medicare Advantage insurers, which offer private plans under the federal benefit program.

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Europe's Covid-19 Vaccination Success Faces Winter Test

Europe's successful vaccination campaigns now face their toughest test: Winter.

The coming months will test whether high vaccination rates and a patchwork of low-intensity public health measures can keep the highly contagious Delta variant in check as temperatures drop and people huddle indoors.

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China's Xi Commits to Stop Building Coal Plants Abroad

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said Beijing would stop building coal-fired power plants abroad, in a public commitment to redirect the country's huge engineering industry away from adding to a source of global pollution.

Beijing has faced pressure from the U.S., the European Union and environmental groups for having continued to finance and build coal-fired power plants in many developing countries, even as it said it would cut greenhouse emissions at home.

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Write to sarka.halas@wsj.com

TODAY IN CANADA

Earnings:

BlackBerry Limited (BB.T) 2Q

Economic Indicators (ET):

Nothing major scheduled

Stocks to Watch:

No items published

Other News:

No items published

Market Talk:

Brookfield May Face Hurdle in Getting Regulatory OK for AusNet Buy

Brookfield Asset Management faces a tricky task convincing Australia's foreign-investment watchdog to support its bid for AusNet Services, says UBS, even if it fends off competition from APA for the company. If the Foreign Investment Review Board approves Brookfield's buy of AusNet, and a KKR-led consortium's bid for Spark Infrastructure, then all of Victoria state's power distribution and transmission infrastructure would be foreign owned. "We believe Australia's Cyber & Infrastructure Security Centre may consider electricity transmission one of the most critical types of infrastructure from a national security perspective potentially applying a very high bar for FIRB approval," UBS says. This is especially so given planned investment in Victoria's electricity transmission to support Australia's energy transition, it adds.

Expected Major Events for Wednesday

05:00/JPN: Aug Steel Production

08:00/GER: Ifo Economic Forecast

08:59/JPN: Japan Monetary Policy Meeting decision

09:00/ITA: Jul Industrial turnover & orders

11:00/US: 09/17 MBA Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey

14:00/US: Aug Existing Home Sales

14:30/US: 09/17 EIA Weekly Petroleum Status Report

18:00/US: Federal Reserve economic projections

18:00/US: U.S. interest rate decision

All times in GMT. Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

Expected Earnings for Wednesday

Basic Energy Services (BASXQ) is expected to report for 2Q.

BlackBerry (BB,BB.T) is expected to report $-0.15 for 2Q.

Enochian Biosciences Inc (ENOB) is expected to report for 4Q.

General Mills (GIS) is expected to report $0.86 for 1Q.

HB Fuller Co (FUL) is expected to report $0.79 for 3Q.

KB Home (KBH) is expected to report $1.60 for 3Q.

Raymond James Financial (RJF) is expected to report.

Steelcase Inc (SCS) is expected to report $0.27 for 2Q.

Vintage Wine Estates Inc (VWE.U.T) is expected to report for 4Q.

Powered by Kantar Media and Dow Jones.

ANALYST RATINGS ACTIONS

Bath & Body Works Raised to Buy From Hold by Argus Research

Big Lots Cut to Neutral From Overweight by Piper Sandler

Clovis Oncology Is Maintained at Buy by HC Wainwright & Co.

Energy Transfer Raised to Buy From Hold by Tudor Pickering

General Mills Cut to Underweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

Hostess Brands Raised to Overweight From Equal-Weight by Morgan Stanley

Oshkosh Cut to Hold From Buy by Jefferies

PacWest Bancorp Raised to Buy From Hold by Truist Securities

SmileDirectClub Cut to Hold From Buy by Stifel

South State Raised to Buy From Neutral by DA Davidson

Steven Madden Raised to Buy From Hold by Jefferies

Vail Resorts Raised to Overweight From Sector Weight by Keybanc

Zumiez Cut to Hold From Buy by Jefferies

This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

09-22-21 0612ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) -0.01% 84.694 Delayed Quote.7.01%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) -0.09% 0.7457 Delayed Quote.-3.02%
BRITISH POUND / JAPANESE YEN (GBP/JPY) 0.07% 156.177 Delayed Quote.11.27%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) 0.05% 1.3758 Delayed Quote.0.85%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (CAD/JPY) 0.01% 91.784 Delayed Quote.13.45%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) -0.05% 0.8081 Delayed Quote.2.95%
EURO / JAPANESE YEN (EUR/JPY) -0.05% 132.05 Delayed Quote.5.06%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.13% 1.1628 Delayed Quote.-4.82%
INDIAN RUPEE / JAPANESE YEN (INR/JPY) -0.62% 1.5135 Delayed Quote.7.78%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) -0.01% 0.013336 Delayed Quote.-2.42%
KKR & CO. INC. 0.57% 73.54 Delayed Quote.81.63%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (NZD/JPY) -0.33% 81.186 Delayed Quote.9.90%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) -0.04% 0.715 Delayed Quote.-0.36%
UBS GROUP AG 0.85% 16.07 Delayed Quote.28.87%
US DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (USD/JPY) 0.04% 113.52 Delayed Quote.10.33%
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