|Day's Range||2,823.27 - 2,852.42|
|52 Week Range||2,346.58 - 2,940.91|
Talley Leger, OppenheimerFunds Investment Strategist, says markets are looking for a continued expression of dovishness from the FOMC, which could decide the direction of U.S. equities. Yahoo Finance’s Alexis Christoforous speaks to him, Jared Blikre and Scott Gamm.
Bitcoin breaks above $4,000, even as the CBOE pulls the plug on bitcoin futures trading. With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Brian Kelly, Steve Grasso and Guy Adami.
Stock: The European Union fined Google $1.7 billion for unfairly benefiting its ad business over rivals. A hot IPO soared on earnings.
U.S. stock futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors waited for more clarity on the Federal Reserve's interest rate outlook for the year, while some trade worries still lingered. The U.S. central bank is expected to keep the fed funds rate unchanged and lower the number of hikes projected for the rest of the year as it wraps up a two-day policy meeting, followed by a statement at 2 p.m. ET and a press conference by Fed Chairman Jerome Powell half an hour later.
Research shows stocks tend to rally over the three-day period surrounding the conclusion of a Fed policy meeting — a fact investors should keep in mind in an increasingly algo-driven trading environment, says one market analyst.
Stock-index futures trade on either side of unchanged as investors await the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting Wednesday afternoon.
Shares of General Mills Inc. shot up 5.8% toward a 1-year high in premarket trade Wednesday, after the branded consumer foods company reported a fiscal third-quarter profit that beat expectations, and raised its full-year outlook. Net income for the quarter to Feb. 24 fell to $446.8 million, or 74 cents a share, from $941.4 million, or $1.62 a year ago, which included a tax-reform related benefit. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted EPS came to 83 cents, above the FactSet consensus of 69 cents. Sales rose 8% to $4.20 billion, matching the FactSet consensus, as North American retail sales beat expectations, convenience stores and foodservice sales were in line and pet foods sales came up shy. For the fiscal 2019, the company revised its adjusted EPS guidance to flat to up 1% from flat to down 3%. The stock, on track to open at the highest level seen during regular-session hours since March 20, 2018, has run up 21.3% year to date through Tuesday, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has gained 7.8% and the S&P 500 has advanced 13%.
Shares of The E.W. Scripps Co. soared 5% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the media company said it is acquiring eight TV stations in seven markets from the Nexstar Media Group Inc. and Tribune Media . Those two companies are selling assets as part of a plan to merge. E.W. Scripps said it will pay $505 million for six markets and $75 million for WPIX, the CW affiliate in New York City. The stations had blended revenue for 2017 to 2018 of $263 million and EBITDA of $56 million. The company is planning to finance the deal with a mix of term loans and unsecured debt, that will raise its total debt to $1.85 billion and leave it with a total leverage ratio net of cash of about 5 times at closing. The company is expecting the deal to expand its presence in Arizona, Florida, Michigan and New York and to add about 769 employees. The company has granted Nexstar the option to buy WPIX back from March 31, 2020 through the end of 2021. E.W. Scripps shares have gained 76% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 4%.
U.S. equity-index futures drifted and European shares fell Wednesday as investors adopted a cautious stance before the Federal Reserve policy decision and awaited further news on U.S.-China trade talks, where negotiators remain at odds. Contracts on the S&P 500, Dow and Nasdaq erased an earlier gain while a series of negative corporate news stories dragged down the Stoxx Europe 600 Index. Germany’s DAX Index led the retreat as BMW warned earnings would fall and chemical maker Bayer headed for the biggest drop in 15 years after losing the first phase of a trial over claims its weed killer causes cancer.
Radian Group Inc. said Wednesday it has more than doubled its stock repurchase program, increasing it to $250 million from $100 million. Based on Tuesday's stock closing price of $20.60, the mortgage insurance company can now buy back up to 5.7% of its shares outstanding. Separately, Radian said Debra Hess, chief financial officer of NorthStar Asset Management Group, and David Stevens, former chief executive of the Mortgage Bankers Association, have joined its board of directors. Stephen Hopkins, a Radian board member since 1999, said he plans to retire. Radian's stock, which is still inactive in premarket trade, has rallied 26% year to date, while the S&P 500 has climbed 13%.
Inc. is cutting the price big clients pay to invest in its largest equity index mutual fund, a bid by the giant money manager to close the gap with cheaper rivals. Starting in July the least expensive new share class of the iShares S&P 500 Index Fund will drop to $1.25 for every $10,000, down from $4. To qualify, investors have to invest at least $2.5 billion.
OUTSIDE THE BOX Tobacco stocks got a bounce earlier this month on news of the resignation of Food & Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb. This made sense because he has had it in for vaping, menthol cigarettes and nicotine levels in cigarettes.
Global stocks weaker ahead of today's Fed rate decision, with sentiment clouded by reports of tension in U.S.-China trade talks and a profit warning from Federal Express. Global oil prices were little-changed, with support coming from API data showing a surprise 2.15 million drawdown in domestic crude stocks and yesterday's move from OPEC to scrap its April meeting, raising the prospect of extending production cuts into the second half of the year. Dow futures suggest a modest opening gain slip ahead of the Fed rate decision at 2:00 pm Eastern Time and Chairman Jerome Powell's press conference 30 minutes later.
There is a lot to be said for a buy-and-hold strategy. Some investors foolishly believe that if you simply buy a stable consumer stock, you’re guaranteed gains if you’re patient enough. Not only does this not take into account the profits left on the table from underperformance, it also ignores the notion that some stocks do indeed go down — even if they are theoretically low-risk staples stocks.
The S&P 500 Index has risen 13 percent in 2019 on the idea that the Fed’s dovishness may allow the economy to sidestep a recession. Simply put, the optimism seen in equities is not shared by bond traders.
There’s a feeling in markets that policy clarity is improving not just at the Fed, but also at central banks in Europe, Japan and China. The euro has larger average and absolute moves -- 0.9 percent and +/- 1.2 percent, respectively -- than assets like the S&P 500 or 10-year Treasury yields when dots are lowered, strategists led by Kaiser wrote in a note Monday. “FX moves suggest a global risk-on dynamic, so low FX implied volatility offers attractive optionality for the FOMC,” UBS said.
Shares were mostly lower in Europe early Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy statement, after a lackluster day of trading in Asia. Britain's FTSE 100 slipped less than 0.1 percent to 7,321.74. White House officials said Tuesday that top U.S. trade and economic officials will visit China late next week for another round of negotiations on their dispute over Beijing's industrial policies and other issues.
U.S. stock index futures barely moved on Wednesday as investors await a policy decision by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. central bank is widely expected to keep rates steady later in the session, with investors monitoring a decision on the Fed's rate projections for the next few years. "The single most prominent bullish influence on stocks right now is the dovish Fed, and the run to fresh five-month highs in the S&P underscored its ability to single-handedly move the market," Tom Essaye, founder of The Sevens Report, said in a note.
TOKYO/HONG KONG, March 20 (Reuters) - Asian shares slid on Wednesday as investors took profits ahead of a policy decision by the U.S. Federal Reserve which is expected to shed more light on its interest rate plans for the rest of the year. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dropped 0.2 percent, weighed down by Australia and South Korea. Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.2 percent while mainland Chinese blue-chip shares were flat.
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Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve is set to announce its decision on interest rates later on Wednesday following its two-day monetary policy meeting. Shares in major Asian stock markets mostly slipped on Wednesday following a series of conflicting reports on U.S.-China trade that surfaced overnight. The mainland Chinese markets recovered partially from their earlier losses but still ended their trading day lower, with the Shenzhen component declining 0.398 percent to 9,800.60 and the Shenzhen composite shedding 0.248 percent to 1,684.57.
Supporting the U.S. stock markets early in the session were the start of the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting. Going into Wednesday’s key Fed announcements, investors are pricing in zero chance of a rate hike. Additionally, investors aren’t looking for much change in the central bank’s monetary policy statement.