Wall Street futures head lower as Federal Reserve meets

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Wall Street

Fed kicks off policy meeting

U.S. stock futures were moving lower on Tuesday morning as the Federal Reserve prepared to start its two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting later in the day.

Markets have grown increasingly confident that Fed will speed up the taper of its massive asset-buying program, which was rolled out in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

If the central bank announces a faster tapering of the program at the conclusion of the meeting on Wednesday, that is likely to mean an earlier start to rate hikes particularly after U.S. inflation climbed 6.8% in November, the fastest rate since 1982.

As of 5:40 a.m. ET, futures tied to the blue-chip Dow were down 23 points to 35,622. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures shed 87.25 points, or 0.54% to 15,994.75 while S&P 500 futures lost 11 points, or 0.24% to 4,657.75.

Elon Musk offloads more Tesla shares

Meanwhile, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) chief executive Elon Musk has sold another 934,091 shares of the company, worth about $906.49 million, according to documents published on Monday and filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Musk sold the shares at prices between $952 to $1,002, earning him around $906.5 million. He also exercised options to purchase 2.1 million shares at $6.24 apiece.

Musk has offloaded $11.76 billion worth of the Tesla stock since Nov. 8, a day after he held a poll on Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) in which respondents voted for him to sell a 10% stake in the company. As of Dec. 9, the Tesla boss held a 17.16% stake in the company.

Tesla stock was down $16.36, or 1.69% to $950.05 per share in the premarket trading session Tuesday.

Neogen surges nearly 12% after merging with 3M’s food safety business

3M (NYSE: MMM) said Tuesday it has agreed to merge its food-safety business with Neogen Corp (NASDAQ: NEOG) in a $5.3 billion deal, including new debt.

Under the terms of the deal disclosed in a press release, 3M will own 50.1% in the combined company. The new entity is expected to have an enterprise value of about $9.3 billion.

3M also expects to receive about $1 billion, subject to deal closing at the end of September 2022.

As of writing, Neogen stock was marked $4.81, or 11.99% to $44.93 per share premarket. 3M shares were up $1.82, or 1.04% to $176.40.

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