Darden Restaurants, Rite Aid, existing home sales: 3 things to watch

September 20, 2023 3:50 PM EDT -- Stocks wobbled after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates steady as expected but signaled another rate increase might be coming as it continues to work on getting inflation back to its 2% target rate.

The Fed is keeping another, 12th, rate hike in its pocket, maintaining its forecast for rates to peak at 5.5% to 5.75% this year, or 5.6% at the midpoint. As of now they are at 5.25% to 5.5%. The projections were part of the Summary of Economic projections that accompanied the monetary policy statement.

But the central bank is committed to continue fighting inflation and signaled it will keep rates higher for longer. Fed members see the benchmark rate at 5.1% next year, which suggests just two rate cuts in 2024. Previous projections had four rate cuts coming.

Higher energy prices could be one factor that frustrates the Fed's inflation fight. On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters "we are well aware that if energy prices increase and stay high, that will have an effect on spending, and it may have an effect on consumer expectations of inflation."

The potential for a shutdown of the federal government if lawmakers are unable to pass a temporary funding bill to keep the lights on is also weighing on sentiment. Lawmakers have until Sept. 30 to strike a deal, though it has been hard for GOP leaders in the House to find consensus among caucus members.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Darden Restaurants earnings

Darden Restaurants Inc (NYSE: DRI), owner of the Olive Garden and other chains, is expected to report earnings per share of $1.73 on revenue of $2.7 billion.

2. Rite Aid earnings

The retail pharmacy chain Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE: RAD) is expected to report a loss per share of $1.47 on revenue of $5.56 billion.

3. Existing home sales

Amid an ongoing housing demand and supply imbalance, existing home sales for August are expected to be 4.1 million. The data are due out at 10:00 ET (14:00 GMT).

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