Wall Street is trading mostly flat today as the markets seemingly await the next big announcement that will propel the rally in stocks and exchange traded funds (ETFs) further forward. For now, though, investors are seemingly holding off on making big moves.

In the absence of big news, all eyes are on the upcoming Federal Reserve meeting, which takes place tomorrow and Wednesday. The consensus is that they’ll leave the main target lending rate near zero, reports The Washington Post. The biggest question is whether the Fed will let a program to buy $300 billion in U.S. Treasury bonds expire. The program was created to lower long-term interest rates and generally make lending conditions more favorable.

McDonald’s (MCD) announced that its same-store sales rose 4.3% in July. The United States’ largest hamburger chain is apparently benefiting from price-conscious diners, as well as a huge promotion of its new line of coffee drinks, says Betsy Vereckey for the Associated Press. McDonald’s fared even better overseas: in Europe, their same-store sales jumped 7.2%.

  • PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage (PBJ): up 5.6% year-to-date; McDonald’s is 4.9%

Options traders are keeping an eye on the rally seen in the S&P 500 and increasing their bets that it won’t last in September. That month historically has been the worst for U.S. equities, say Jeff Kearns and Michael Tsang for Bloomberg. Traders are now betting that the VIX, a measure of market fear, will gain 13% in the next five weeks.

  • iPath S&P 500 VIX Short-Term Futures ETN (VXX): down 20% in the last month


General Motors will begin selling cars and trucks on eBay tomorrow in an effort to reach new customers and restore its lost market share. To start, the deal will involve 225 dealerships in California, but GM hopes it goes national by September, reports Nick Bunkley for The New York Times.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.