Stock Futures Signal Record Highs Ahead of FOMC Meeting

The Fed isn't expected to raise interest rates at its September meeting

by Katie Coburn

Published on Sep 18, 2017 at 9:13 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is signaling a positive open this morning, and could enjoy a seventh straight gain, after wrapping up its best week of 2017. As concerns over North Korea ease, traders are gearing up for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) two-day meeting, which kicks off tomorrow. The central bank is expected to keep interest rates the same this month, but market participants will be awaiting details on the Fed's plans to unwind its $4.5 trillion balance sheet, and will look for clues into a possible December rate hike. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also pointed higher before the open, after posting record highs of their own on Friday.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • This Florida homebuilder could be ripe for a short squeeze.
  • Carnival stock continues to sink in Hurricane Irma's wake.
  • First Solar stock bounced back after testing a key trendline.
  • Plus, 3 stocks signaling a higher open this morning.

US Stock Futures Sept 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1,054,775 call contracts traded on Friday -- the most since July 27 -- compared to 667,640 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.63, and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.62.
  2. Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD) stock is up 5.3% in pre-market trading, amid reports that suitor Walgreens Boost Alliance could revise its agreement to buy more than 2,000 Rite Aid stores in order to win antitrust approval. RAD shares hit an annual low of $2.21 on Aug. 21, as the stock spent most of the summer struggling after Walgreens' scrapped plans to buy Rite Aid.
  3. Shares of Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ:STX) are up 1.8% in electronic trading, after the company signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Baidu for big data analysis and advanced storage implementation. STX shares were down 12.1% year-to-date at Friday's close, and have struggled south of $34 since a July bear gap.
  4. RedHill Biopharma Ltd (NASDAQ:RDHL) stock is up 2% before the bell, after the biotech company received notice of allowance for a new patent covering its combination therapy for hard-to-treat cancers. RDHL shares lost roughly 41% during the past 12 months to close at $8.76 on Friday.
  5. The NAHB housing market index and Treasury international capital (TIC) flows are due out today. Steelcase (SCS) will report earnings after the close.

Buzz Stocks Sept 18

Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia settled higher today, with tech stocks bolstering South Korea's Kospi to a gain of 1.4% -- its biggest one-day rally since May. Samsung Electronics led the charge with a 4.1% surge, and hit a new record high during the session. Elsewhere in the region, traders in mainland China shrugged off a report showing slower growth in home prices to send the Shanghai Composite 0.3% higher, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.3%. Markets in Japan are closed for holiday.

European stocks are cautiously higher at midday, with investor sentiment getting a boost from a Standard & Poor's upgrade of Portugal's credit rating back to investment-grade status. However, a Bundesbank report warned of slower economic growth in Germany during the third quarter, and Ryanair is dragging on Britain's main bourse amid a slew of flight cancellations. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.4%, the German DAX has advanced 0.3%, and France's CAC 40 is 0.2% higher.


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