5 Things to Know Before Markets Open

News of the day for March 22, 2023

Jerome Powell
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference March 21, 2018 in Washington, DC.

 Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Fed announces a tough rate decision, UK inflation surprises with a jump, and US home prices fall for the first time in over a decade. Here’s what investors need to know today.

1. Fed's Big Decision Due on Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve’s two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting will conclude in Washington, D.C. later today, with traders widely anticipating the FOMC will raise rates by 25 basis points (bps) to a range of 4.75% to 5%, according to fed funds futures data collected by CME Group. Another rate hike would take interest rates to their highest level since 2007, potentially tightening economic conditions even further as turmoil in the banking system roils world markets.

2. UK Inflation Jumps Unexpectedly

Inflation in the U.K. shot up to 10.4% in February as food and energy bills rose. It breaks a three-month streak of declining inflation in the U.K. as central banks around the world raised interest rates over the past year. 

3. US Home Prices Fall for First Time in Decade

Home prices dropped year-over-year for the first time in more than a decade, while sales of previously-owned homes were down 22.6%, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). However, a dip in mortgage rates helped snap a 12-month streak of declining sales, enabling home sales to rise in February, up 14.5% from the prior month.

4. Nikes Beats on Revenue and Earnings

Nike (NKE) beat analyst estimates for its quarterly earnings and revenue, but its high level of inventories helped drive down the company’s gross margins more than 40%. The shoemaker has been dealing with a glut of inventory created by supply chain disruptions.

5. GameStop Reports First Profit in Two Years

Breaking both a seven-quarter trend and analysts' projections, GameStop (GME) said cost-cutting measures have helped it report a profit for the first time in nearly two years. The video game retailer posted a net profit of $42 million for the three-month period ending January, a turnaround from the company’s $147.5 million loss from the same period a year ago. GameStop shares shot up over 50% in pre-market trading following the report, but are still down more than 40% over the past year. 

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  1. CME Group. "CME FedWatch Tool."

  2. CNBC. "UK inflation rates breaks 3-month stretch of declines with surprise rise to 10.4%."

  3. The Wall Street Journal. "Home Prices Fell in February for First Time in 11 Years."

  4. CNBC. "Nike's holiday quarter plagued by bloated inventory, weak China sales."

  5. CNBC. "GameStop stock soars after retailer posts first quarterly profit in two years."

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