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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Nasdaq futures tick up ahead of Fed meeting, AI conference

Credit: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

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Futures: Dow off 0.02%, S&P up 0.34%, Nasdaq adds 0.65%

March 18 (Reuters) - Futures tracking the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Monday ahead of the Federal Reserve's meeting this week, where it is expected to keep borrowing costs steady and provide cues on its monetary policy path this year.

Stronger-than-expected inflation figures last week have prompted investors to rethink when and by how much policymakers will lower rates this year, with traders pulling back bets of a June rate cut to 57% from 71% last Monday, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

Nevertheless, led by optimism around artificial intelligence (AI), Wall Street hit fresh all-time highs in March, before pulling back some gains last week.

A hawkish tilt by the Fed in its policy meeting that concludes on Wednesday could further pressure the high-flying shares.

"While the recent pullback in tech stocks may follow fears that the market has run too far and portfolios are too concentrated, we believe investors can find compelling diversification opportunities through the next AI leaders," said Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.

Investors eyed chipmaker Nvidia's NVDA.O GTC developer conference from March 18 to 21, which will be parsed for AI-related announcements. Shares of the AI giant rose 2.1% in premarket trading.

Peers such as Micron Technology MU.O and Advanced Micro Devices AMD.O added 2.6% and 1.2%, respectively.

At 5:30 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were down 6 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 17.5 points, or 0.34%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 117.5 points, or 0.65%.

Most megacap growth and technology shares also advanced in trading before the bell.

AlphabetGOOGL.O gained 3.1% after a media report that Apple AAPL.O is in talks to build Google's Gemini AI engine into the iPhone.

TeslaTSLA.O rose 3.3% after the electric carmaker said it would increase the price of its Model Y EVs in some European countries on March 22, by approximately 2,000 euros ($2,177) or its equivalent in local currencies.

U.S.-listed shares of XpengXPEV.N climbed 7.0% on plans to launch a cheaper EV brand amid fierce price competition.

Meanwhile, Boeing BA.N shed 1.1% after a media report that a Federal grand jury in Seattle issued a subpoena to the planemaker over the Jan. 5 midair blowout.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)

((BansariMayur.Kamdar@thomsonreuters.com; Follow on X: @BansariKamdar;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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