Stock Futures Today in the Red After Fed Chickens Out on Rate Hike

Good morning! For Friday, Sept. 17, here are your stock market futures, top stock market news, and stocks to watch...

Stock Futures Today

Stock futures today were down across the board in premarket hours as the global markets absorbed news the Federal Reserve's rate decision. Dow futures were down186 points; S&P futures slid 21 points; and Nasdaq futures lost 44.25 points.

Dow JonesOn Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 65 points after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would not yet raise rates from its record-low level. The decision against a Fed rate hike came with a 9-1 vote. The Fed said a further delay is required due to concerns about weakness in the global economy. The U.S. dollar index plunged yesterday after news of the decision.

According to notes from the Fed Open Market Committee, four members said they do not support an interest rate hike until after 2015. The central bank will have two more meetings this year: Oct. 27-28 and Dec. 15-16. Given that the Fed will not hold a press conference in October, pundits believe the move will happen in December. [Editor's Note: Get our "investors' guide" to Fed interest rates and the upcoming hike here...]

Top News in the Stock Market Today

  • The Stock Market Today: Today, expect further reaction to the Federal Reserve's rate decision, the Leading Indicators, and an update on the Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) rig count.
  • Oil Outlook: Oil prices were down after the Fed's rate decision restored traders' concerns about global economic health. This morning, WTI prices slipped 1.8% to $46.06, while Brent oil prices fell 0.6% to hit $48.75. Bearish sentiment remains on the news that the world's leading producers will still likely pump as much oil as possible in order to maintain share, despite falling prices. This week, Goldman Sachs Group (NYSE: GS) predicted a 50% chance that oil prices fall to $20 per barrel.
  • Earnings Reports: No major U.S. companies report earnings this morning.

Pre-Market Movers in the Stock Market Today: AKS, TXN, ADBE

  • Pre-Market Movers No. 1, AKS: Shares of AK Steel Holding Corp. (NYSE: AKS) surged more than 7.5% in premarket hours after the company issued stronger-than-expected outlook for the third quarter. The news is extremely positive for a commodity that has been subdued on concerns about slowing growth in the global economy and a rising dollar.
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 2, TXN: Shares of Texas Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: TXN) were flat this morning despite news that the company's board of director hiked its dividend by 12% and authorized a stock buyback program worth $7.5 billion.
  • Pre-Market Movers No. 3, ADBE: Shares of Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE) dipped 3.5% in premarket hours after the company beat Wall Street third-quarter earnings expectations after closing bell yesterday. Adobe reported a quarterly revenue increase of 21% to $1.22 billion and beat consensus per-share earnings expectations by 4 cents. However, the company did provide a weaker outlook for this quarter, weighing down investor confidence.

Stocks to Watch Today: FIT, LQ, KRE

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  • Stocks to Watch No. 1, FIT: Wearable tech giant Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT) fell 1.3% this morning, a day after its third-largest gain in a single trading session. On Thursday, shares surged nearly 7.5%. The company is gaining on Wall Street optimism over the fitness-tracker's growth potential in corporate wellness programs.
  • Stocks to Watch 2, LQ: Hotel operator La Quinta Holdings Inc. (NYSE: LQ) slipped nearly 15% this morning after it announced that CEO Wayne Goldberg has agreed to step down. The company said its CFO will serve as president and CEO while it completes a corporate search for a new leader. In addition, LQ slashed profit expectations for the rest of the year.
  • Stocks to Watch 3, KRE: Today, pay attention to the SPDR S&P Regional Bank ETF (NYSE: KRE). Following yesterday's rate announcement, the ETF shed 2.3% as regional banking sector was negatively affected by the Fed's interest rate decision.

Today's U.S. Economic Calendar (all times EST)

  • Housing Starts at 8:30 a.m.
  • Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.
  • Current Account at 8:30 a.m.
  • Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index at 9:45 a.m.
  • Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey at 10 a.m.
  • EIA Natural Gas Report at 10:30 a.m.
  • 3-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 6-Month Bill Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 2-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 2-Year FRN Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 5-Year Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • 7-Yr Note Announcement at 11 a.m.
  • FOMC Meeting Announcement at 2 p.m.
  • FOMC Forecasts at 2 p.m.
  • Fed Chair Press Conference at 2:30 p.m.
  • Fed Balance Sheet at 4:30 p.m.
  • Money Supply at 4:30 p.m.

What Investors Must Know This Week

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About the Author

Garrett Baldwin is a globally recognized research economist, financial writer, consultant, and political risk analyst with decades of trading experience and degrees in economics, cybersecurity, and business from Johns Hopkins, Purdue, Indiana University, and Northwestern.

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