Dow Futures Rise Ahead of Fed Meeting

Investors are expecting the Fed to increase rates this week

Mar 20, 2018 at 9:10 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading above fair value as the Fed prepares to begin its March meeting later in the day. While a policy decision won't be unveiled until tomorrow, Wall Street is fully expecting Jerome Powell's first meeting as Fed chair to result in an increase in interest rates. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are signaling positive opens, as well -- even with shares of Facebook (FB) pointed lower again amid reports its security chief is leaving the company. Meanwhile, disappointing quarterly results from Oracle (ORCL) could also pressure the tech sector.

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

  • Schaeffer's V.P. of Research Todd Salamone discusses what to expect when VIX options expire tomorrow.
  • The drug trial update that could have a "significant impact on the opioid crisis."
  • Universal Display stock just fell through a crucial technical level.
  • Plus, Oracle revenue whiffs; BlackBerry makes another deal; and Facebook tests chart support.

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 967,041 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 648,646 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.67, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.61.
  2. ORCL is trading 10% lower before the open, after the company's fiscal third-quarter revenue fell short of expectations and triggered a round of bearish analyst attention -- including a Stifel downgrade to "hold" from "buy." ORCL shares began the year on a high note thanks to upbeat expectations for the company's cloud business, but sales from that division rose a smaller-than-forecast 31.7%.
  3. After yesterday announcing a new partnership with Microsoft (MSFT), BlackBerry Ltd (NYSE:BB) stock is set to jump 5% at the open. Under the terms of the deal, BlackBerry's security technology has been integrated with Microsoft's Azure cloud platform.
  4. FB yesterday traded below its 200-day moving average for the first time since early February, but eked out a close just pennies above this trendline after bottoming around $170 -- suggesting the round-number level could be acting as support. This level was previously supportive during the stock's February, December, and October pullbacks.
  5. Earnings from Arcadia Biosciences (RKDA), Children's Place (PLCE), and FedEx (FDX) will be released.

stock market news march 20

European Markets Make Another Push Higher

Stocks in Asia were once again a mixed bag today, as investors anxiously eyed the tech-driven U.S. sell-off. Japan's Nikkei gave back 0.5% to notch its third straight decline, but clawed back about 157 points from its early morning lows. South Korea's Kospi reversed early losses to finish 0.4% higher thanks to solid gains for Hyundai Heavy Industries, up 3.5%, and a rebound in auto stocks. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.1% as tech stocks caught a lift from Apple supplier Sunny Optical Technology's well-received earnings report, with that stock up 8.6% by the close. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite gained 0.3%.

European markets are cautiously higher at midday, as a round of corporate earnings and M&A news takes center stage ahead of tomorrow's U.S. Fed decision. London's FTSE 100 is up 0.5% at last check, with a 3.2% post-earnings gain from homebuilder Bellway boosting sentiment, and engineering firm Fenner popping nearly 25% on reports of buyout interest from France's Michelin. Germany's DAX and the French CAC 40 are both up 0.4% at midday.


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