Stock Futures Rise as Wall Street Eyes Nvidia Conference

The Fed's two-day policy meeting kicks off tomorrow

Deputy Editor
Mar 18, 2024 at 9:01 AM
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Futures are on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are up 218 points this morning, as several tech stocks rise, with investors eyeing Nvidia's (NVDA) GTC conference today. Also in focus is the Fed's two-day policy meeting that kicks off tomorrow. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures are comfortably higher as well, while oil prices move sharply higher as drone attacks by Ukraine affect Russian output. 

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

  • These retail stocks had a wild week.
  • 4 ways to protect your portfolio with options
  • Plus, GOOGL in talks with Apple; HCP considers sale; and PEP upgraded. 

Futures March 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.9 million call contracts and over 1.1 million put contracts exchanged Friday. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.61, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.71.
  2. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock is up 5.5% premarket, after Bloomberg reported the tech giant is in talks with Apple (AAPL) to build Gemini artificial intelligence (AI) into future iPhones. Since last March, GOOGL is up 40.7%. 
  3. A Bloomberg report is sending HashiCorp Inc (NASDAQ:HCP) higher as well, as the software company is reportedly exploring a sale. Up 11.4% in electronic trading, HCP is sporting a 12.1% year-to-date lead headed into today. 
  4. The shares of PepsiCo Inc (NASDAQ:PEP) are up 1.5% before the bell, after an upgrade from Morgan Stanley to "overweight" from "equal weight." The beverage stock is sporting a minor loss in 2024, and is down 6.7% year over year. 
  5. This week will bring a handful of economic data, as well as the Federal Reserve's latest interest rate decision


Stocks Confidently Higher Overseas

Stocks in Asia moved higher to start the week, with all eyes on the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) interest rate announcement tomorrow, where its negative rate is expected to be pivoted from -0.1% to a 0% benchmark. Retail sales in China rose by a stronger-than-expected 5.5% for January and February, while industrial added production added 7%. Japan’s Nikkei added 2.7%, after Honda and Nissan signed an electric vehicle (EV) memorandum, while China’s Shanghai Composite climbed 1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Send tacked on 0.1% and South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.7%.

Markets are moving higher as well in Europe, with investors gearing up for this week’s Fed meeting in the U.S. The European Central Bank (ECB) is also expected to cut rates in 2024, a sign of "major progress" in the economy. At last glance, both London’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX are up 0.3%, while France’s CAC 40 has risen 0.2%, the latter boosted by a 6.4% pop from French rail operator Alstom, after a new passenger train service in the U.K. was unveiled.


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