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It’s Fed decision day, U.S. ups the pressure on China over trade, and Apple posts another solid quarter. Here are some of the things people in markets are talking about today.

Holding forth 

At 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time today the Federal Reserve will announce its latest monetary policy decision, with the Federal Open Market Committee almost certain tohold rates unchanged. Today’s decision will not be followed by a press conference. Policy makers will probably be mulling whether their view that the stock marketwill remain healthy is correct, and President Donald Trump’s recent comments on thebank’s policy stance. Earlier today the Reserve Bank of India hikedits key rate to 6.5 percent. 

Hardball

After rumors about therestarting of trade talks yesterday, China and the U.S. got back to trading threats today. The Trump administration is consideringmore than doubling the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent, according to people familiar with the deliberations. China responded by warning against “blackmailing and pressuring" by the U.S. to force it back to the negotiating table. Authorities in Beijing may be feeling the pinch from the tariffs as the country’s central bank is said to be actively encouraging banks to extend more credit as efforts toboost the cooling economy increase. 

Apple, Tesla

Another solid quarter for Apple Inc. pushed the company closer to a$1 trillion valuation as investors focus onstrong iPhone demand and growth in services revenue. Shares in the company were trading at$197.10 in the pre-market, with $203.45 the level needed for a $1 trillion market cap.  Tesla Inc. reports earnings today, with reports this morning saying the company is looking toraise funds in China to finance at least part of the cost of a $5 billion factory it is planning to build there. Analysts will tune in to the earnings call with interest to hear how Elon Musk will deal withthe criticism his company has faced this quarter. 

Markets mixed

Overnight the MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.4 percent while Japan’s Topix index closed 0.9 percent higher as strong earnings lifted technology stocks. In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index was 0.3 percent lower at 5:50 a.m. as renewed fears over a trade war proved a drag on commodity stocks. S&P 500 futures pointed to asmall loss at the open, the 10-year Treasury yield was at 2.980 percent and gold slipped. 

Coming up…

There’s a lot of data to look for ahead of today’s Fed decision. ADP employment change is due at 8:15 a.m., with U.S. July manufacturing PMI due at 9:45 a.m. and ISM manufacturing at 10:00 a.m. At 10:30 a.m. the latest U.S. oil inventory report is due. Auto sales data for July will roll in across the morning, and the Treasury is set to reveal its quarterly borrowing plan which may move theU.S. yield curve. 

What we've been reading

This is what's caught our eye over the last 24 hours.

  • The end of theglobal housing boom.
  • Hauweipasses Apple in smartphone share for first time. 
  • Theresa May isbanking on Corbyn to help deliver her Brexit plan.
  • Here’s how Americauses its land. 
  • A hiddenAmazon fortune: Bezos parents may be worth billions.
  • Too many jobs feel meaninglessbecause they are.
  • This could be thebattery breakthrough the world has been waiting for. 

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