Dow Futures Fall Ahead of Fed

All three major U.S. indexes are pointed lower before the open

Mar 21, 2018 at 9:17 AM
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U.S. stocks are signaling a negative open ahead of today's Fed decision, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq-100 (NDX) last seen trading slightly below fair value. Wall Street is fully expecting a rate hike this afternoon, and traders will keep a close eye on the subsequent press conference from new Fed Chair Jerome Powell, looking for clues on whether the central bank plans to lift interest rates three or four times this year. Meanwhile, investors continue to monitor the latest Facebook (FB) drama, including news of an investor lawsuit and a digital tax plan from the European Union (EU).

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

  • 50 stocks to trade next week, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • The Samsung announcement that boosted Roku stock.
  • How Snap options traders reacted to the social media sell-off.
  • Plus, General Mills outlook disappoints; strong revenue again for one RV maker; and FedEx call buyers may be worried.

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 846,066 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 578,492 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio edged up to 0.68, and the 21-day moving average moved up to 0.62.
  2. Packaged food giant General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) this morning cut its full-year forecast, sending the shares 9% lower before the open. Such a move would have GIS stock trading at a fresh five-year low, and it's already shed 15.8% year-to-date.
  3. Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO) is down 1.4% in electronic trading, despite the RV manufacturer's impressive quarterly revenue. According to Thomson Reuters, this is the eighth straight quarter the company has beat on the top line, as the industry trends seen in 2017 are apparently remaining strong. WGO shares are up 50% over the past 12 months and have been consolidating atop the 200-day moving average since early February.
  4. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is also set to open slightly lower, even after the company topped earnings and sales estimates for the fiscal third quarter. This weak price action could leave FDX call buyers disappointed. Meanwhile, the delivery giant also said it placed a small order for Tesla's electric semi trucks.
  5. Existing home sales and the weekly crude inventories update are due out today. Five Below (FIVE) will also step into the earnings confessional.

stock market news march 21

Overseas Markets Take a Hit

Stocks in Asia were lower today, with investors cautious ahead of today's expected rate hike and policy forecast from the U.S. Fed. China's Shanghai Composite gave back 0.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.4%, as a last-minute drop from tech stocks offset gains from the energy sector. South Korea's Kospi settled fractionally lower despite another big day from Hyundai Heavy Industries, which rose 3.8%. Markets in Japan were closed for a holiday.

Stocks in Europe are also pointed lower at midday, as markets await the outcome of the Fed meeting. London's FTSE 100 is down 0.6% at last check, pressured by an 8.4% post-earnings drop from home improvement retailer Kingfisher. France's CAC 40 is off 0.4% and the German DAX is down 0.3%, with basic resources stocks among the most notable laggards amid simmering trade-war concerns.


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