Dow Pushes Higher With Fed's Rate-Hike Timeline in Focus

Traders will be watching to see if the Fed wants three or four rate hikes this year

Mar 21, 2018 at 12:00 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has overcome an early dip into the red to trade more than 100 points higher at the halfway point. Traders are awaiting the first Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy announcement under new Fed Chair Jerome Powell this afternoon. While the stock market is expecting the central bank to lift its key interest rate by 25 basis points, uncertainty is swirling over whether it will issue new projections for its rate-hike timeline. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also up at midday, rising alongside Facebook (FB) -- which has erased its earlier losses after Bloomberg reported the social media site's CEO Mark Zuckerberg will address the data harvesting scandal in the next 24 hours.

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

  • Beware this FAANG stock next week.
  • The tech stock sinking on buyout buzz.
  • Plus, GameStop bears pounce; Southwest finds a familiar foothold; and a plummeting penny stock.

midday market stats march 21

Among stocks with unusual options volume today is GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), with nearly 16,000 puts on the tape, or 15 times the expected intraday pace. The April 15 put is most active, and with GME stock down 0.5% at $14.40 -- fresh off a 12-year low of $14.12 and on pace for a third straight loss -- some of the action is likely sell to close. However, other traders appear to be purchasing new positions here, eyeing bigger losses by April options expiration -- a time frame that includes the video game retailer's March 28 earnings report.

Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) is one of the biggest decliners on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), after the airline downwardly revised its first-quarter revenue per available seat mile (RASM) forecast. LUV stock is down 5.5% to trade at $57.37, but is finding a foothold atop its 320-day moving average, which served as support in early February, too.

luv stock daily chart march 21

Precipio Inc (NASDAQ:PRPO) is at the bottom of the Nasdaq, after the diagnostics specialist surged 88.9% on Tuesday. PRPO was last seen down 32.9% at $0.60. It's been quite a turbulent year for the stock, considering its 52-week high stands all the way up at $28.16.


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