Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, March 21:
1. -- Stocks Turn Mixed Ahead of Fed Meeting
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 4 points, while those linked to the S&P 500 were up slightly. Nasdaq futures fell 18 points.
Investors were keeping an eye on developments in bond and currency markets ahead of the rates decision from the Fed at 2 p.m. ET. Markets widely expect the Fed to raise interest rates by a quarter percentage point to a range of 1.5% to 1.75%. However, the bigger question for Wall Street could be whether the Fed will bump up its forecast for rate hikes this year to four from previous forecasts of three.
Powell will hold a press conference at 2:30 p.m.
Other items Wednesday on the U.S. economic calendar include Existing Home Sales at 10 a.m., and Oil Inventories for the week ended March 16, at 10:30 a.m.
Stocks rebounded on Tuesday, March 20, despite sharp losses for Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report and Oracle Corp. (ORCL) - Get Report . The Dow rose 116 points, or 0.47%, to 24,727. The S&P 500 gained 0.15% and the Nasdaq was up 0.27%.
Action Alerts Plus holding Facebook will be watched again Wednesday as investors continue to assess the fallout from the data scandal that has lopped more than 9% from Facebook's share price over the past two sessions and reduced the social media giant's market value by $60 billion.
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2. -- Salesforce Buys MuleSoft for $6.5 Billion
Salesforce has acquired about 50 companies in the process of building its business, and this year already has acquired CloudCraze LLC and Attic Labs.
Salesforce agreed to pay $44.89 a share in cash and stock for MuleSoft, which went public at $17 a share.
MuleSoft shares closed more than 27% to $42 on Tuesday after reports of the deal surfaced and tacked on another 3.9% in premarket trading on Wednesday.
MuleSoft specializes in application programming interfaces. In a press release, the company said it "provides one of the world's leading platforms for building application networks that connect enterprise apps, data and devices, across any cloud and on-premise."
3. -- FedEx Earnings Top Forecasts
Adjusted earnings in the quarter were $3.72 a share, above analysts' forecasts of $3.11 a share. Revenue in the period rose to $16.5 billion from $15 billion a year earlier; analysts had called for revenue of $16.2 billion.
The quarter included benefits of $5.60 a share from changes to U.S. tax laws.
FedEx said it expects fiscal 2018 earnings of between $17.90 and $18.30 a share, and it lowered its capital spending forecast for fiscal 2018 by $100 million to $5.8 billion.
The stock fell 0.7% in premarket trading.
Earnings are expected Wednesday from Guess? Inc. (GES) - Get Report , Actuant Corp. (ATU) and Winnebago Industries Inc. (WGO) - Get Report . Cereal giant General Mills (GIS) - Get Report posted lackluster earnings before the bell and slashed its full year profit outlook.
4. -- Amazon Is World's Second Most Valuable Company
Shares of Amazon rose 2.7% on Tuesday to $1,586.51, giving the e-commerce giant a market cap of $768 billion. Alphabet fell 0.4% on Tuesday to $1,097.68, leaving the parent of Google with a market cap of $762 billion.
Amazon shares year to date have risen 35.7%.
5. -- Nordstrom's Board Nixes Possible Buyout
A special committee of Nordstrom Inc.'s (JWN) - Get Report board ended its discussions with members of the Nordstrom family regarding a possible buyout deal, citing a failure to reach an agreement over price.
"The Special Committee believes that Nordstrom is well positioned to capitalize on future opportunities to gain market share through its customer strategy, centered on three strategic pillars," the company said in a statement Tuesday, March 20, including "providing a differentiated product offering; delivering exceptional services and experiences; and leveraging the strength of its brand.
Action Alerts Plus holding Nordstrom shares fell 2.2% to $48.25 in after-hours trading on Tuesday.
The termination marks a second failed attempt for members of the founding Nordstrom family -- including co-Presidents Blake Nordstrom, Peter Nordstrom, and Erik Nordstrom -- to take the company private after announcing they would explore buyout options last June.
This article has been updated with fresh market and stock prices.
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