Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Edge Higher After Data Dump

2 Retailers That Could Take Off Next Week

Celeste Taylor
Dec 22, 2016 at 9:12 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are inching slightly higher, as stocks react to the latest economic data. The final third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading showed the U.S. economy grew at a faster-than-expected rate of 3.5%, compared to initial estimates of a 3.2% pace, marking the strongest quarter in two years. On the other hand, traders are digesting a rise to six-month highs for initial jobless claims last week, and durable goods orders fell by a steeper-than-expected 4.6% in November -- the first drop in five months. The Dow continues to chase the key 20,000 level, which eluded the index again yesterday -- its least volatile session in two years.  

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

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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are about 2 points above fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 551,226 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 423,518 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.77, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.60.
  2. Red Hat Inc (NYSE:RHT) is set to drop 11% at the open -- likely to the delight of recent option buyers-- after reporting weaker-than-expected quarterly revenue, as well as issuing a full-year forecast that came in under analyst expectations. What's more, RHT also announced the departure of its current chief financial officer. BMO and Stifel both issued downgrades on the shares -- to "market perform" and "hold," respectively -- and no fewer than 14 analysts cut their price target on the shares.
  3. Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is up 12.3% in electronic trading, set to open at a new annual high, after delivering earnings that came in ahead of analyst expectations, and offering upbeat current-quarter guidance. The chipmaker stock has been showered in upbeat analyst attention since its earnings win, including an upgrade to "buy" from Needham, as well as no fewer than 13 price target hikes.
  4. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is poised to start the day 1.6% lower, after the U.S. once again put BABA's Taobao marketplace on its "notorious marketplaces" for counterfeit goods list.This is another blow to the Chinese e-tailer, which has been largely sitting out the recent post-election rally.
  5. Personal income and spending data is due out later today. Entering the earnings confessional will be Cal-Maine Foods (CALM) and Rite Aid (RAD).

Buzz Stocks Dec 22

Overseas Trading

Asian stocks finished mostly lower in light pre-holiday trading. Despite a strong day for automakers, Japan's Nikkei slipped 0.1%, as financial stocks cooled off after a long run-up since the U.S. presidential election. Also ending lower were South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng, down 0.1% and 0.8%, respectively. In China, however, the Shanghai Composite edged 0.1% higher, amid reports that crude oil imports jumped 18.3% year-over-year in November.

It's a downbeat session in Europe, as the ongoing banking woes in Italy -- and at Monte dei Paschi, in particular -- reverberate throughout the region. Traders are also showing caution ahead of a raft of U.S. economic data. At last check, the German DAX is 0.02% lower, while London's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 are both down nearly 0.1%.

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