What to Watch in the Day Ahead - Wednesday, Dec 16

(The Day Ahead is an email and PDF publication that includes the day’s major stories and events, analyses and other features. To receive The Day Ahead, Eikon users can register at . Thomson One users can register at RT/DAY/US. All times in ET/GMT) The U.S. Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee is due to conclude a two-day meeting and announce its decision on interest rates. The first U.S. rate rise since 2006 is largely priced in, as traders see an 83-percent chance the central bank will lift its targeted rate range to 0.25 percent to 0.50 percent from the current zero to 0.25 percent range, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program. Fed Chair Janet Yellen also holds a news conference. U.S. housing starts likely rebounded in November, pointing to steady momentum in the housing market. A Reuters survey of economists forecast groundbreaking rose to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.135 million units last month from 1.060 million units in October. November would mark the eighth straight month that housing starts have been above 1 million units. Building permits are forecast to have fallen to a 1.150 million-unit pace from 1.161 million units in October. (0830/1330) Meanwhile, industrial production is predicted to have dropped for the third straight month in November, raising concerns about the robustness of fourth-quarter economic growth. Analysts expect industrial production declined 0.1 percent last month. (0915/1415) Software maker Oracle Corp’s second-quarter revenue and profit are expected to fall marginally below analysts’ estimates, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine. Oracle has faced only limited success in its small but fast-growing cloud business. Investor concerns are also mounting over Oracle’s core database business, which still accounts for the majority of the company’s revenue. Oracle’s licensed software business has been falling for reasons ranging from slow customer adoption to tough competition. FedEx Corp reports second-quarter results. Wall Street expects the company’s earnings to rise to $2.53 per share from $2.16 a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. The package delivery company lowered its full-year forecast in September, citing modest economic growth and higher-than-expected operating costs. Investors will be looking for an update on the business and the busy holiday shipping season. Drugmaker Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc will host an Investor Day, where it will make highly anticipated revisions to its financial guidance in the wake of ending its relationship with specialty pharmacy Philidor. Severing those ties is expected to cut into dermatology revenues, the company has said. The forecast will give traders fundamental ideas to trade in a stock that has swung wildly on fears about new concerns arising from its business practices.

Retail sales in Brazil probably fell for a ninth straight month in October, showing no signs of a rebound from the worst slump in the country’s commerce in more than 12 years. Sales volumes excluding automobiles and building materials likely fell a seasonally adjusted 1.1 percent in October from September, down from a decline of 0.5 percent in the previous month. Separately, Argentina is due to release November consumer inflation data.

LIVECHAT: FED PREVIEW with Kit Juckes, Global Macro Strategist, Societe Generale Kit Juckes, Global Macro Strategist at Societe Generale joins in the forum for a look ahead to the evening's Federal Reserve policy meeting where the central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade. (0500 ET/1000 GMT) To join the Global Markets Forum, click here (Compiled by Sourav Bose in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)