Wall Street futures head lower as Federal Reserve meets

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.