Stocks finished in the green yesterday, despite a modest late-day fade. Now, they’re giving back those gains in the early going. Gold, silver, and crude oil are flattish along with Treasuries, while the dollar is higher.

The Federal Reserve is starting its latest two-day policy meeting today, with an announcement on their decision and updated “dot plot” projections due tomorrow afternoon. No one expects the Fed to cut its current rate range, which is 5.25% - 5.5%. But investors will pay close attention to guidance about the future, especially during Chair Jay Powell’s press conference. The yield on the 2-Year Treasury Note has risen about 50 basis points since the start of February as markets have de-priced more-aggressive Fed cut scenarios.

As for the Bank of Japan, it did NOT wait until its next meeting or the one after it to end the “NIRP” era. Instead, it raised its benchmark policy rate to a range of 0% to 0.1% overnight, officially putting “Negative Interest Rate Policy” to bed. The hike was the first one in Japan in 17 years.

Nikkei 225 Stock Average
Source: Yahoo Finance

The BOJ also said it would stop buying stock ETFs and Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs). That wasn’t too surprising considering the Japanese stock market has been on a rampage. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average just hit a record high above 40,000, finally eclipsing its 1989 bubble-era peak.

Finally, chipmaker Nvidia Corp. (NVDA) unveiled its newest Blackwell graphics processing unit (GPU) at an annual event in California. NVDA’s current H100 and H200 chips are helping drive the Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution thanks to their incredible processing speed and power. The newest chips will boost performance while using less energy, according to CEO Jensen Huang.