March 19 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Updated from 6:46 a.m. EDT

Here are 10 things you should know for Wednesday, March 19:   

1.-- U.S. stock futures were higher early Wednesday but global stocks were mixed ahead of a policy announcement from the Federal Reserve later in the afternoon.

Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.4%. China's Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2%. 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Wednesday includes the fourth-quarter current account balance at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and the rates decision from the Federal Open Market Committee at 2 p.m. EDT.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed higher after Russian President Vladimir Putin calmed markets by assuring there would be no further moves into Ukraine. Weaker-than-expected housing data released Tuesday isn't expected to see the Federal Reserve vary from its course of cutting bond purchases this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.55% to finish at 16,336.19, while the  S&P 500 gained 0.72% to 1,872.25. The  Nasdaq added 1.25% to 4,333.31.

4.-- Shipping giant FedEx (FDX) said severe winter storms cost it $125 million in its fiscal third quarter, causing the company to miss earnings estimates and to reduce guidance for the remainder of the fiscal year.

FedEx shares fell 0.5% to $137.90 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

5. -- The Justice Department is expected to announce a settlement with Toyota (TM) as early as Wednesday that could cost the automaker more than $1 billion to end a criminal probe into its disclosure of safety issues, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.

The deal would cap a four-year investigation with one of the largest fines ever imposed on an automaker, the Journal noted.

Toyota shares fell 0.5% in premarket trading.

If you liked this article you might like

Apple Watch Issues Pull Nasdaq to Session Lows, Dow and S&P 500 in Flux

Crazy Weak U.S. Dollar Will Make These 10 Companies Huge Winners

How to Make Money on Booming Cloud Services Demand

Jim Cramer Reveals One Stock to Play the Cloud Space

S&P, Dow Close at Record Highs, Brushing Off Geopolitical Concerns