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Markets Await Fed Minutes From Latest FOMC Meeting

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Pre-market futures are mixed at this hour. Coming off a new slightly higher record close for the Nasdaq yesterday, the tech-heavy index is down around -30 points. The S&P 500 is almost exactly flat, -2 points, while the Dow, which could not hang onto record high closes a third straight session Monday, is up +10 points at this hour. Bond yields are similarly lackluster: 4.42% on the 10-year, 4.83% on the 2-year — still hanging in the medium-term midrange.

This makes sense, as we take a break from big-impact market news. Last week was filled with inflation and economic prints, as well as a heavier segment of Q1 earnings season. Thus far this week, we’ve gotten already several speeches from FOMC members, including Fed Vice Chairs Michael Barr and Philip Jefferson, and Fed Governor Christopher Waller. Barr and Waller appear again today, along with New York Fed President John Williams and Cleveland President Loretta Mester.

Fed minutes from the last FOMC meeting are out tomorrow afternoon. However, aside from the press conference amendments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell immediately after last meeting’s release — where he assured the Wall Street press that the Fed remained resistant to possible interest rate increases — there are probably not many surprises in store for us when those minutes come out. Waller right now is keeping in step with Powell’s overarching message: “further increases are… probably unnecessary.”

Tomorrow afternoon is also NVIDIA’s ((NVDA - Free Report) earnings release. Even after gaining over +90% year to date and +200% over the past year, NVIDIA shares are a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) with a Zacks Style grade of B. The leader in graphics chips is also the perceived leader in A.I. development, or at least the company’s products and services are in every nook and cranny of this economy-shifting sector. Earnings growth is expected to grow a jaw-dropping +400%, with revenues +237%. Can you say “priced for perfection”?

Macy’s ((M - Free Report) is out with Q1 earnings this morning. The company beat expectations on its bottom line by +50% to earnings of 27 cents per share from 18 cents in the Zacks consensus. (It’s still less than half of 56 cents per share reported in the year-ago quarter, which may be a clear illustration of consumer engagement these days.) The big-box department store has not missed on earnings since 2019. Revenues of $4.85 billion outpaced expectations slightly (the company brought in $4.98 billion a year ago). Macy’s is trading up +3% on the news in early trading, making up much of the -5% valuation year to date.

Home improvement retailer Lowe’s ((LOW - Free Report) also released Q1 earnings before the opening bell. Earnings of $3.06 per share outperformed the Zacks consensus by +4% (down from the $3.67 per share in Q1 2023). It too has not posted a negative earnings surprise for over five years. Revenues of $21.36 billion topped projections by +1.38%, for the third time in four quarters. Shares had been +3% year to date, and add +2% to that this morning.

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