Since today is a Federal Reserve meeting day, most of what I write here about the recent market action doesn’t “count” and could change dramatically soon. But in any event, stocks, Treasuries, gold and silver, and the dollar are all flattish. Crude oil is down a smidge.

On the news front…

It’s “Fed Day”...the day when we learn what Federal Reserve policymakers are going to do with interest rates and what they think about the economic outlook moving forward. Today is a “lock” for a 25-point hike, a move that would put the federal funds rate at a 22-year high of 5.25%-5.5%. The REAL question is how aggressive Chairman Jay Powell is about the need for additional, future moves.

The rate decision will come down at 2 p.m. Eastern, followed by the Powell press conference at 2:30 p.m. You can pretty much ignore the market action in the few hours leading up to that because things often change – fast – on Fed Days!

Last-minute talks between management at United Parcel Service (UPS) and the Teamsters union averted a strike that could have led to 340,000 workers walking off the job. UPS will send an additional $30 billion to workers over a five-year contract span, though the deal technically still needs approval from rank-and-file union members during a series of votes next month. UPS shares have been lagging the S&P 500, up about 7% year-to-date.

In a further sign the worst of the banking crisis is behind us, troubled California banks PacWest (PACW) and Banc of California (BANC) linked up in a deal funded in part by private equity groups Warburg Pincus and Centerview. Shares of both banks had cratered amid deposit flight fears earlier this year. But they will now form a stronger, $36-billion firm headquartered in Los Angeles.