Here are five things you must know for Thursday, March 16:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were higher and shares in Europe and Asia posted strong gains after the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by 25 basis points and issued a dovish policy forecast.
U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed near records set at the beginning of March after the Fed's rate hike reaffirmed faith in the strength of the U.S. economy.
Markets "had expected [a rate hike] and they had been very clear in telegraphing that to the Fed as well," Bodhi Ganguli, lead economist at Dun & Bradstreet, told TheStreet. "There was relief that we're on this path to normalization ... It basically signals confidence in the U.S. economy, both from the Fed and the markets. If the markets didn't believe it, they wouldn't have reacted positively."
The central bank also released updated forecasts, including the '"dot plot" matrix that visualizes each Fed official's expectations for the pace of future rate increases. The Fed forecast two more rate hikes in 2017, in-line with its previous forecasts and as markets anticipated.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes Housing Starts for February at 8:30 a.m. EDT, weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m., the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Survey for March at 8:30 a.m., and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for January at 10 a.m.
2. -- Donald Trump is expected Thursday to unveil a $1.15 trillion budget that slashes a dozen departments to finance a significant increase in the military and make a down payment on a U.S.-Mexico border wall.
According to the Associated Press, the president's budget proposal would make cuts in foreign aid and the Environmental Protection Agency as well as medical research, help for homeless veterans and community development grants.
"A budget that puts America first must make the safety of our people its number one priority -- because without safety, there can be no prosperity," Trump said in a message accompanying his proposed budget that was titled "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again."
The $54 billion boost for the military is the largest since President Reagan's buildup in the 1980s, the AP reported. The 10% military boost is financed by $54 billion in cuts to foreign aid and domestic agencies that had been protected by former President Barack Obama.
The budget goes after the frequent targets of the party's staunchest conservatives, eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts, legal aid for the poor, low-income heating assistance and the AmeriCorps national service program established by former President Bill Clinton, the Associated Press reported.
The budget is set for official release Thursday morning, but the Associated Press said it and other news outlets obtained the document in advance.
3. -- Shares of Oracle (ORCL) were rising 7.2% in premarket trading on Thursday after the software giant posted third-quarter earnings that topped analysts' forecasts.
On an adjusted basis, Oracle earned 69 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $9.3 billion. Analysts expected profit of 62 cents a share on sales of $9.3 billion. Cloud revenue was $1.2 billion, which exceed analysts' expectations.
The company also raised its quarterly dividend by 4 cents a share to 19 cents.
Oracle said it expects fourth-quarter revenue to be down 1% to up 2% from a year earlier with earnings in the range of 78 cents to 82 cents a share.
Dollar General (DG) reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.49 a share, beating Wall Street forecasts of $1.41. Same-store sales rose 1%, also topping estimates.
4. -- Starboard Value is reported to have sold its stake in Macy's (M) , the struggling department store.
Starboard Value, which pressured Macy's to separate its real estate from its retail business, has sold its 1% holding, Reuters reported. The activist investor owned about 3 million Macy's shares worth about $107.8 million at the end of December, Starboard's recent disclosure showed.
Starboard believed that Macy's shares could be worth $125 if the retailer underwent the move.
The department store is in the midst of a transition with CEO Terry Lundgren due to become executive chairman on March 23, replaced by Jeff Gennette, who is expected to execute a turnaround plan at the retailer.
5. -- Tesla (TSLA) said it expects to raise about $1.15 billion from a stock and senior notes offering, as the electric carmaker moves ahead with production of the Model 3 sedan, expected to begin in July.
The offering includes $250 million of common stock and $750 million of convertible senior notes due in 2022.
In a statement, Tesla said it would use the proceeds to "strengthen its balance sheet and further reduce any risks associated with the rapid scaling of its business due to the launch of Model 3, as well as for general corporate purposes."
CEO Elon Musk plans to participate in the offering by purchasing $25 million of Tesla stock.
Tesla shares rose 2.6% in premarket trading.