Stock Futures Move Higher Ahead of Anticipated Rate Hike

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The FOMC two-day policy meeting concludes today

Stock futures are pointed higher ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) two-day policy meeting. Wall Street anticipates another 0.75 basis point interest rate hike, while investors look toward the central bank’s long-term projections as well. In other news, U.S. defense stocks got a boost this morning, after Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a partial military mobilization to Ukraine, putting military reservists into active service.

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

  • Plenty of support is in place for this insurance stock.
  • Schaeffer’s Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White breaks down the low call-buying volume.
  • Plus, unpacking General Mills’ earnings report; Beyond Meat’s c-suite shakeup; and Estee Lauder’s bull note.

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.02 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 686,965 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.67, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.66.
  2. Shares of General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) are up 2.3% premarket, after the food producer reported better-than-expected earnings for the fiscal first quarter. In addition, the company hiked its full-year sales forecast, as it anticipates benefitting from higher prices and strong demand. Coming into today, GIS is up 28.4% in the last 12 months.
  3. Plant-based alternative meat stock Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ:BYND) is marginally higher this morning, last seen up 0.7% though it remains saddled with a roughly 75% year-to-date deficit. Beyond Meat is making headlines after it suspended its Chief Operating Officer Dough Ramsey, who was recently charged with third-degree battery and terroristic threatening following a physical altercation. The company’s senior vice president of manufacturing operations will step into the role on an interim basis in the meantime. 
  4. Goldman Sachs upped its rating on Estee Lauder Companies Inc (NYSE:EL) to “buy” from “neutral” and hiked its price target by $5 to $303. The analyst says investors underappreciate the company’s path to “robust” sales growth, with China’s “zero-Covid” policy already priced in. EL was last seen up 1.7%, slightly denting its 6% quarterly deficit.
  5. Due out alongside the Fed’s interest rate decision are a statement from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and existing home sales data. 

European Markets Brush Off Russian Military Mobilization 

Asian markets were lower on Wednesday, mirroring stateside price action ahead of the Fed’s interest rate decision. Oil prices surged after Russian President Vladimir Putin drafted 300,000 reservists to go into active service in Ukraine. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng paced the laggards with a 1.8% loss, while Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.4%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi was 0.9% lower, and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%.

Meanwhile, European markets are mostly higher, as investors brush off news of partial Russian military mobilization. Also in focus is the Bank of England’s (BoE) interest rate decision later today, especially after the pound hitting its lowest level since 1985 earlier. Nevertheless, London’s FTSE 100 was last seen 0.9% higher, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.1%, and the German DAX is flat, despite a big day from automotive and arms manufacturer Rheinmetall.

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