Dow Jones Industrial Average Looks for Strong First-Quarter Finish

Is Apple Headed for All-Time Highs?

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 31, 2016 at 9:05 AM

U.S. stocks are signaling a modestly higher open this morning, with futures on the ​Dow Jones Industrial Average ​(DJIA) ​slightly above fair value. Wall Street will hear from two more Fed officials today, as Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and New York Fed President William Dudley will both take the podium. Traders are also digesting this morning's jobless claims numbers ahead of tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls report. Specifically, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose to a two-month high last week. Regardless, the Dow is set to wrap up the first quarter with a 1.7% lead, after notching its best close of the year on Wednesday

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:


Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are just 9.3 points above fair value. 

5 Things You Need to Know Today


  1. A fresh round of monetary stimulus helped Chinese stocks escape a global slide.
  2. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 675,223 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 415,467 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio edged up to 0.62, while the 21-day moving average moved up to 0.70.  
  3. Chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) has had a terrible year, dropping 26% to hit $10.48, and trailing the S&P 500 Index (SPX) by almost 27 percentage points over the past 60 sessions. Now the shares are positioned almost 2% lower in electronic trading, following the company's lackluster quarterly results and current-quarter guidance. As a result, no fewer than 10 brokerage firms have lowered their expectations for MU
  4. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) has been another underperformer that analysts are fleeing from. However, the shares are pointed 0.7% higher ahead of the bell, amid reports the firm is getting into the burger business. Specifically, the company filed a trademark for the name "Better Burger" earlier this month, with a spokesperson telling Bloomberg that "It’s a growth seed idea we are exploring." 
  5. In other restaurant news, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is planning on opening more than 1,500 locations in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea. What's more, RBC upped its price target on the stock to $135 from $132, representing all-time-high territory. MCD has already added 7.4% in March to trade at $125.83, and just touched a record high of $126.10 yesterday. 


Earnings and Economic Data

The Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) is also due out today. There are no scheduled earnings reports worth noting. To see what else is coming up on this week's agenda, click here.

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