Economic Breaker Panel: March Update

What’s in Today’s Report:

  • Economic Breaker Panel – March Update
  • Empire State Manufacturing Index and PPI Takeaways

U.S. stock futures are trading higher by more than 1% amid new stimulus optimism and progress towards a ceasefire in Ukraine ahead of today’s FOMC announcement.

The Hang Seng led Asian markets higher with a 9.1% gain o/n after the Chinese government pledged new stimulus to combat slowing economic growth trends while covid-19 cases showed signs of peaking.

In Europe, both Russian and Ukrainian negotiators have reported progress in talks as the possibility of a “neutrality model” for Ukraine has been introduced.

Looking into today’s session there are a few economic reports to watch early including: Retail Sales (E: 0.4%), Import & Export Prices (E: 1.5%, 1.3%), and the Housing Market Index (E: 81) but none should materially move markets given the geopolitical backdrop and looming rate hike from the Fed.

From there, focus will turn to the conclusion of the Federal Reserve meeting with the FOMC Announcement at 2:00 p.m. ET, and Powell’s Press Conference 2:30 p.m. ET. A 25 basis point hike is fully priced in for today’s meeting however any insight as to the pace of hikes going forward (dot plot) or plans for QT will move markets and the “less-hawkish” the better for equity markets.