Stock Futures Poised to Build on Record Closes

Investors are encouraged that the Fed's goldilocks strategy is still within reach

Deputy Editor
Mar 21, 2024 at 9:14 AM
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Stock futures are sharply higher this morning, following record closes for all three major indexes after the Fed's decision to keep interest rates unchanged. Equities roared to life in the final hours of yesterday's session, after the central bank hinted at three rate cuts to come this year, while Fed Chair Jerome Powell also noted it would not be deterred by strong jobs data. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are up triple digits, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures sit in the black as well. 

Elsewhere this morning, jobless claims came in at 210,000, while the Philadelphia Fed factory gauge unexpectedly remained in expansion territory for the second month in a row, coming in at 3.2 compared to analyst estimates of negative 5. 

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

  • 2 stocks under $20 to keep on your radar. 
  • How options traders scored a profit with Gap stock. 
  • Plus, MU surges after earnings; Apple's potential lawsuit; and RVLV upgraded.

Futures March 21

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.2 million call contracts and 918,909 put contracts exchanged Wednesday. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.72, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.71.
  2. Semiconductor stock Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ:MU) is up 17.2% premarket, after the company's better-than-expected fiscal second-quarter results. Argus raised its rating to "buy" after the event, while several other firms lifted their price targets on the stock. Should these gains hold, Micron stock will open at record highs. 
  3. Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock is off 0.8% before the bell, after Bloomberg reported that the Justice Department could soon file an antitrust lawsuit against the tech giant. Since the start of the year, Apple stock is down 7.2%. 
  4. The shares of fashion retailer Revolve Group Inc (NYSE:RVLV) are up 5.4% in electronic trading, after an upgrade from TD Cowen to "outperform" from "market perform," with a price-target hike to $25 from $23. Mostly on account of a February post-earnings bull gap, RVLV is enjoying a 24.3% year-to-date gain. 
  5. Plenty of economic data this week to go with the Fed's interest rate decision


Nikkei Nabs Record High

Indexes in Asia surged higher today, for the most part. Japan’s Nikkei soared to a fresh record high of 40,823 in intraday trading, and closed up just over 2% after the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) Governor Kazuo Ueda said they will continue to support the economy via "accommodative monetary conditions." South Korea’s Kospi enjoyed a 2.4% jump and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 1.9%. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite’s slipped marginally, after Central Bank Deputy Governor Xuan Changneng said there is "still room for cutting" in the country’s monetary policy, despite yesterday’s unchanged one- and five-year loan rates.

Across the pond stocks are mostly higher as well, with London’s FTSE 100 up 1.5%, Germany’s DAX 0.5% higher , and France’s CAC 40 flat, at last glance. These gains come on the heels of the Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to keep rates steady, as expected. Elsewhere, in a surprise move, the Swiss National Bank (SNB) trimmed its policy rate to 1.5%.


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