Stock Futures Fall Ahead of Fed Meeting

Nasdaq futures are down triple digits

Deputy Editor
Mar 19, 2024 at 9:11 AM
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Stock futures are moving lower this morning, with futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) down triple digits, as investors unpack news from Nvidia's (NVDA) first-ever GTC conference. The Fed's two-day policy meeting kicks off today, and according to the CME FedWatch Tool, Wall Street there is a 99% chance the central bank leaves interest rates unchanged tomorrow. Meanwhile, U.S. housing starts rebounded a higher-than-expected 10.7% in February.

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

  • Reviewing recent SPX and VIX price action, with Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research, Todd Salamone.
  • Chip stock hit with bull note ahead of earnings
  • Plus, SMCI cools off; George Lucas backs Disney; and Unilever restructures. 

Futures March19

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.3 million call contracts and 686,028 put contracts exchanged Tuesday. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.50, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.71.
  2. Super Micro Computer Inc (NASDAQ:SMCI) stock is down 9.9% premarket, after launching a nearly $2 billion stock offering. The chipmaker has been pulling back from its early-March record peak, though still up 252% since the start of the year. This comes one day after SMCI's S&P 500 debut
  3. Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) stock is in the spotlight before the bell, after news that George Lucas, the blue-chip giant's largest investor, is backing CEO Bob Iger in a proxy war with activist investor Nelson Peltz. The shares are down 0.5% before the bell, and up 26% in 2024. 
  4. The shares of Unilever PLC (NYSE:UL) are up 2.7% in electronic trading, after news that the company is planning on spinning off its ice cream unit, which includes Ben & Jerry's, and cutting 7,500 jobs. 
  5. Plenty of economic data this week to go with the Fed's interest rate decision


Japan Raises Interest Rates

With the exception of Japan’s Nikkei, stocks in Asia moved lower today. The Japanese index closed up 0.7%, above the round 40,000 mark, after the Bank of Japan officially hiked interest rates for the first time in 17 years, to 0%-0.1% from -0.1%. China’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.7%, after Foreign Minister Wang Yi shared that they will be implementing a free trade agreement with New Zealand. Suffering the steepest losses were Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi, which fell 1.2% and 1.1%, respectively.

Markets in Europe are making more modest moves this afternoon, as investors keep a close eye on the U.S. Fed policy meeting. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 is off 0.2%, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.3%, and Germany’s DAX has added 0.1%.



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