Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Point to Record Highs to Kick Off March

2 Signs Stocks Could Rally in March

Kirra Fedyszyn
Mar 1, 2017 at 9:06 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are pointing to a triple-digit jump at the open, putting the large-cap index on pace to notch a new all-time peak after yesterday snapping a 12-day streak of record-high closes. Stocks are responding positively to last night's speech from President Donald Trump, who addressed a joint session of Congress for the first time since taking office. Among the major issues in focus were economic plans, with the president promising a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure, as well as reform of immigration, healthcare, and tax policies.

Meanwhile, a round of largely upbeat corporate earnings is giving stocks a boost, and traders are eyeing rising expectations for a March rate hike from the Federal Reserve. While consumer spending for January rose less than expected, the PCE inflation index beat predictions, jumping to a 1.9% year-over-year gain -- the highest since 2012, and close to the Fed's long-touted 2% target.

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

  • 2 signs stocks could rise in March, per Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. 
  • The important trendline that saved 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD). 
  • Analysts: "The path forward is still unclear" for this drug stock.
  • Plus, Weight Watchers pops on subscriber growth, Mylan eyes an breakout, and Lowe's plans to add stores.

Dow Futures March 1

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are nearly 176 points above fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 739,604 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 515,112 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.70, while the 21-day moving average remained steady at 0.65.
  2. Strong subscriber growth helped Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) beat on earnings, sending the shares up 17% ahead of the bell. Should these gains materialize, WTW could open in annual-high territory, which may have short sellers sweating.
  3. Drugmaker Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL) also blew past earnings expectations, helping the stock tack on 5.6% in pre-market trading. Such gains could help the shares break out above resistance in the $42.50-$43 region, which has capped MYL's advances over the past six months.
  4. While many retailers have lately been announcing plans to close stores, DIY specialist Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) said it will add 35 new locations this year. The news accompanied better-than-expected quarterly earnings and upbeat 2017 sales guidance, which have LOW set to pop 8.5% at the open.
  5. After the purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI), the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index, construction spending, and weekly crude inventories, the Fed will be in focus today with the release of the Beige Book, as well as speeches expected from two central bank officials. Retailers will highlight earnings, including American Eagle (AEO), Best Buy (BBY), Crocs (CROX), Dollar Tree (DLTR), and Office Depot (ODP).

Buzz Stocks March 1

Overseas Trading

Stocks in Asia rallied in the aftermath of President Trump's congressional speech, as rising U.S. rate-hike expectations spurred the dollar. Consequently, a relatively weaker yen powered Japan's Nikkei to a 1.4% gain, with exporters flexing their muscle. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng each tacked on about 0.2%, with the former driven higher by encouraging manufacturing data. Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi was shuttered for a public holiday.

Strong Chinese data and hawkish Fed comments are also acting as a positive catalyst in European markets, which are reacting to a raft of earnings reports and economic data, as well. London's FTSE 100 has surged 1.1% -- with builder CRH adding 5.7% on well-received 2016 results -- following a sharper-than-expected rise in home prices and weaker-than-forecast growth in the factory sector. The French CAC 40 and German DAX are following suit, up 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively, after data showed eurozone manufacturing activity rose for a sixth straight month in February, though at a slower pace than projected.

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