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US stock futures mixed ahead of Fed meeting; Nvidia conference due


US stock futures mixed ahead of Fed meeting; Nvidia conference due By Investing.com

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AuthorPeter NurseStock Markets

Published Mar 17, 2024 07:47PM ET
Updated Mar 18, 2024 06:35AM ET

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Investing.com– U.S. stock index futures traded in a mixed fashion Monday, amid caution ahead of this week’s eagerly-awaited Federal Reserve meeting.

By 06:35 ET (10:35 GMT), the Dow Jones Futures contract was down 10 points, or 0.1%, while S&P 500 Futures traded 20 points, or 0.4%, higher and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 135 points, or 0.8%.

Wall Street indexes were nursing a fall from record highs over the past two weeks, as a series of hotter-than-expected inflation readings fueled concerns over the Fed potentially signaling higher-for-longer interest rates. 

Fed in focus after hot inflation readings 

Market focus was now squarely on the conclusion of a two-day Fed meeting on Wednesday. While the central bank is widely expected to keep interest rates steady, any signals on its plans for cutting rates will be closely watched.

Hotter-than-expected consumer and producer inflation readings last week had ramped up fears that the central bank could offer more hawkish signals during this week’s meeting.

Fed officials have also repeatedly stated that any potential rate cuts will be largely dictated by the path of inflation, which has so far remained above the Fed’s 2% annual target.

Concerns over the Fed had weighed on Wall Street indexes last week, albeit marginally. 

Nvidia conference awaited for more AI cues 

But before the Fed meeting, Nvidia’s (NASDAQ:NVDA) GTC conference in San Jose, California will be in the spotlight. The event is Nvidia’s first annual developer conference to be held in person after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The firm, which is at the heart of an AI-driven market rally over the past year, is widely expected to unveil its new flagship chips catered specifically for AI development. CEO Jensen Huang will deliver the keynote address later on Monday, and is expected to showcase Nvidia’s next generation AI chip, which is rumored to called the B100.

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in talks with Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Google unit to use the latter’s Gemini generative artificial intelligence engine to incorporate AI features into its flagship iPhones, according to a report from Bloomberg Monday.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) rose premarket after the electric carmaker said it would increase the price of its Model Y EVs in some European countries this week.

Crude adds to recent gains  

Oil prices rose Monday, extending last week’s gains on the prospect of tighter global supplies, ahead of a string of key central bank meetings this week, headed up by the Federal Reserve. 

By 04:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures traded 0.9% higher at $81.30 a barrel, while the Brent contract climbed 0.8% to $86.00 per barrel.

The crude market soared to four-month highs last week, following signs of strong U.S. refinery demand, attacks on Russian energy infrastructure and positive forecasts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and the International Energy Administration.

This positive tone was helped by positive economic news from China, the world’s largest crude importer, with industrial production climbing an annual 7% over January and February, while retail sales rose 5.5% on a year earlier.

(Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

US stock futures mixed ahead of Fed meeting; Nvidia conference due

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