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Fed announcement leads calendar

David Russell (david.russell@optionmonster.com)

The Federal Reserve dominates today's economic calendar.

While no one expects the central bank to change interest rates, its statement will be closely read for indications about further asset purchases. The news is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. ET.

There are less important reports earlier in the session: The Mortgage Bankers Association's weekly loan applications at 7 a.m. ET and the Energy Department's crude-oil inventories at 10:30 a.m. ET. European consumer confidence will also be published early in the morning, which could affect sentiment.

Two important earnings reports are on the calendar. FedEx is scheduled to release earnings before the opening bell, followed by software giant Oracle in the afternoon.

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