Futures Point To Lower Open After Fed Decision To Keep Rates Steady

  1. Stock index futures point to lower open

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held its benchmark interest rate steady and indicated it would end its balance-sheet reduction process by the end of September. Stock futures pointed to a lower opening on Wall Street on Thursday.

At around 7:18 a.m. EDT, futures on the blue-chip Dow dropped 84.5 points, or 0.33% to 25,644.5. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 were down 14.50 points, or 0.20% at 7,395.00, while those on the S&P 500 fell 9.38 points, or 0.33% to 2,817.62.

  1. Nike earnings due after the close

Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE) is set to report third-quarter financial results after the closing bell. Analysts expect the sporting apparel and shoe powerhouse to post GAAP earnings of 0.64 per share, or adjusted earnings of $0.66 per share based on FactSet data.

The FactSet consensus for revenue is $9.59 billion. Nike stock, which closed Wednesday at $86.69, is up about 32% over the last year.

  1. Brexit extension set to dominate EU Summit

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May heads to Brussels today to ask the EU members for a short delay on the Brexit deadline of March 29. May wants the U.K. could stay in the European Union until June 30, because lawmakers have so far voted against her withdrawal agreement proposals.

All the signs are that she will get her Brexit extension, but only until May 22 to make the U.K. exits before the start of EU elections on May 23.

  1. FBI joins criminal investigation of Boeing 737 Max certification

The FBI is reportedly assisting in a criminal probe into the certification of Boeing 737 Max. The investigation is being carried out by the Transportation Department’s Inspector General, under the watch of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division.

It started in response to data obtained after a 737 MAX 8 plane operated by Lion Air crashed shortly after takeoff from Jakarta on October 29, killing all 189 people on board. Shares of Boeing were down $2.59, or 0.69% to $373.57 in premarket trade on Wednesday.