The countdown is over and after eight months of tapering the Federal Reserve is set to end its quantitative easing program today; the cut of the final $15bn in monthly asset purchases is expected and there is no press conference so it’s any change in wording of the statement that will be key. The FOMC will probably be a non-event insofar as nothing unexpected will happen but US markets look relatively unchanged at the open and will likely trade in tight ranges before the announcement just in case. The V-shape reversal in US equity indices has been quite remarkable in the last three weeks; the Dow has now moved back above 17,000 and the S&P has surpassed 1,975 and is rapidly approaching 2,000 again. It’s important not to fight the tape but the parabolic nature of the rebound of over 1,000 Dow points in just over a week is actually a bit disconcerting. Given the strength of the rally it seems like a new high in the S&P 500 and the Dow is just around the corner, although doing so would be no minor feat. Under current economic conditions, European markets including the FTSE 100 and the German DAX seem a lot less likely to confirm any new highs but with no quantitative easing, US markets may actually need them to this time to sustain their own growth picture. Facebook shares are down afterhours despite beating estimates after the CFO pointed to a tougher Q4 with the company projected to increase spending next year. It seems earnings expectations have reached an unsustainable level and the company is now guiding lower and so it can increase costs and invest in the future of its business. Facebook could be as much as 10% lower on the open and is dragging the Nasdaq down with it; there does appear to be a raised bar for what companies have to do to impress this reporting season, valuations are high and QE is ending so more is being expected from earnings. Highly valued tech stocks which have missed estimates are being severely punished, Amazon, Twitter and now Facebook being the prime examples. Before the bell today there are earnings reports from Fiat Chrysler, Hershey, Wellpoint and Ralph Lauren and after the close sees reports from Visa, MetLife and Kraft Foods. Futures suggest the: S&P 500 will open 1 point lower at 1,984 with the Dow Jones expected to open 8 points higher at 17,013 and the Nasdaq 13 points lower at 4,093. CMC Markets is an execution only provider. The material (whether or not it states any opinions) is for general information purposes only, and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment or other advice on which reliance should be placed. No opinion given in the material constitutes a recommendation by CMC Markets or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.