Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - September 23

FOMC Tone in Statement to Be More Confident - Around 2:15 EDT this afternoon, the FOMC will announce its decision on interest rates (expected to remain the same), but the big news will be the Fed statement. It is believed that with the recent economic data turning positive, the Fed's tone will also sound more confident. Some are speculating that they MAY hint at an exit strategy but that remains to be seen.

Oil Down After Inventory Data - The EIA reported an increase in inventories last week and that helped to push oil futures lower. Gasoline demand dropped to its lowest point in 8 months sparking a 5.4 million barrel gain in inventories. Crude inventories rose 2.8 million barrels and distillate stockpiles (diesel and heating oil) rose 3 million barrels. The amount of gasoline supplied which many use as an index on consumption fell to 8.79 million barrels a day.

Bank of America, Chase Changing Over-draft Fees - In response to complaints by customers, BofA and Chase are revamping their overdraft fees to make them more customer friendly. Each are doing it different ways, but the end result should be reduced fees to customers and a reduction in profit from fees for the banks.

Chase said that their changes include eliminating overdrafts for debit cards unless the customer opts in to overdraft services, and getting rid of overdraft fees if a customer's account is $5 or less overdrawn.

BofA said that starting Oct. 19, it won't charge overdraft fees when a customer's account is overdrawn by less than $10 for one day. It will also "improve the process" for customers to opt out of overdraft capability.

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