Stocks Set To Open Sharply Higher After Fed’s Dovish Tone

U.S. stock index futures

Wall Street poised to open in green zone

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Thursday after the Federal Reserve indicated it could soon lower interest rates if the economic outlook fails to improve.

Policymakers left interest rates unchanged on Wednesday, but dropped strong hints that they would cut rates this year to counter trade war-related economic headwinds.

As of 5:38 a.m. ET, futures on the blue-chip Dow were seen gaining 222.5 points, or 0.84% to 26,758.5. Futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 rose 94.25 points, or 1.22% to 7,796.25 while those on the broader S&P 500 were up 25.62 points, or 0.87% to 2,959.12.

U.S. gold futures also climbed 2.8% to $1,386.30 an ounce Thursday, while Palladium jumped 1.3% to $1,520.54 per ounce. Meanwhile, the dollar index and the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury came under pressure following the Fed’s signal on rates.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury fell below 2% for the first time since November 2016 early Thursday.

Oil rallies after Iran shoots down a U.S. drone

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone, escalating military tensions between the two countries in the Gulf. Iranian forces said they downed the MQ-4C Triton U.S. Navy drone after it entered the country’s airspace.

The downing sends a “clear message to America” that Iranian borders were its red line, according to Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps commander-in-chief Maj-Gen Hossein Salami.

U.S. officials have since confirmed that the drone was brought down, but said it was operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz. The attack comes amid growing tensions between Washington and Tehran after U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year.

Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, jumped $1.38 to $63.20 per barrel at 4:54 a.m. ET following news of the attack. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. oil marker, climbed $1.45 to $55.21 per barrel.

Slack stock set today launch today at $26 a share

Slack is expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under ticker symbol “WORK.”San Francisco-based Slack is pursuing a direct listing and has set a reference price of $26 a share, which would give it a valuation of approximately $15.7 billion.

By directly listing its shares, the workplace messaging firm will give most of its existing stockholders the option to sell their shares directly into the stock market.