Market Minute: Investors Await Taper Decision; Floods Impact Colorado Oil Fields


The word of the day is taper, and the Colorado floods hurt domestic energy production. Those stories and more are what's in Wednesday's Market Minute.

The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) rose 35 points Tuesday and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) gained 27. The Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) added 7 to close within 5 points of its all-time high.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke fomc september meeting tapering
Pete Marovich/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Most market pros say a move by the Federal Reserve to taper -- or start to trim the amount of money it pours into the economy each month -- to come at the end of Wednesday's policy meeting. They say that's already baked in to the market. But how investors will react to the news if and when it's announced is very uncertain. The official word comes out at 2 p.m. Eastern time, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke holds a news conference a half-hour after that.

The severe flooding in Colorado has put one of the state's biggest oil fields under water, affecting thousands of wells. One analyst says that could hurt production at Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Noble Energy (NBL) and Bill Barrett Corp. (BBG).

Walgreen (WAG) is expected to become the latest in a growing list of companies to push its employees to look for their own health insurance. According to reports, the drug store chain will provide subsidies to about 160,000 eligible employees to shop for private coverage. IBM (IBM), Time Warner (TWX) recently said they will move retirees to health care exchanges.

AT&T (T) is reportedly seeking buyers for its approximately 10,000 wireless towers. According to Bloomberg, the assets could fetch at least $5 billion. It says possible bidders include Crown Castle (CCI), SBA Communications (SBAC) and American Tower (AMT), which is the biggest operator of cell towers in the U.S.

FedEx (FDX) reported quarterly results that edged past Street expectations. It also announced price hikes on some shipping rates.

And shares of Adobe Systems (ADBE) are set to rise even though the company's net fell nearly 60 percent in the latest quarter. However, the maker of Photoshop and other software products said the numbers of subscribers to its cloud service soared.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.