Healthcare Vote Takes Center Stage as Dow Jones Industrial Average Futures Rise

3 ETFs to Watch Ahead of Huge Healthcare Vote

Mar 24, 2017 at 9:04 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are seated comfortably above fair value, pointing to a higher start after six straight days of losses for large-cap stocks. Boosting the market this morning, durable goods orders for February rose 1.7%, beating the 1.2% increase expected, while January orders were upwardly revised to 2.3% growth. A House of Representatives vote on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act remains in the spotlight today, after being postponed Thursday. Adding pressure to the situation, President Donald Trump issued an ultimatum, threatening that he will leave Obamacare in place and unchanged should Congress fail to approve the new healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act.
Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • Is Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) flashing a buy signal?
  • 3 healthcare ETFs in focus ahead of the huge House vote. 
  • Why put players have been taking aim at Google parent Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL). 
  • Plus, Micron soars on earnings; Finish Line falls short; and GameStop suffers as gamers choose downloads.

Dow Futures March 24

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are almost 35 points above fair value.

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 687,968 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 463,318 put contracts. The resultant single-session equity put/call ratio slid to 0.67, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.65.
  2. Well-received earnings and guidance have chipmaker Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU) up 12.7% ahead of the bell, set to open at a roughly two-year high, as upbeat analyst notes begin pouring in. These gains should sit just fine with options traders, who have been upping their bullish bets in recent weeks.
  3. Finish Line stock, meanwhile, is set to slide 14.8% at the bell, into territory not seen since 2010, after the company reported fourth-quarter earnings far shy of expectations. It seems this results may come as little surprise to recent speculators, who have been targeting FINL put options, perhaps betting on a repeat of the two most recent quarters.
  4. Also taking a beating in pre-market trading is GameStop, which beat quarterly estimates for earnings, but gave a lackluster full-year outlook, citing fewer in-store purchases as consumers increasingly prefer to download games directly to their consoles. The news has so far earned GME stock three price-target cuts from analysts and put the shares on track to open 10.7% lower.
  5. The Markit flash purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) will be released later today, while a slew of Fed speakers is also on the docket. The spotlight for next week will turn to a final readings for fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP).

Buzz Stocks March 24

Overseas Trading

Following a delayed healthcare vote in the U.S., Asian markets were mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei fared especially well, jumping 0.9% on a softer yen -- with Toshiba stock surging 7.6% on a huge investment from Effissimo Capital Management. China's Shanghai Composite was solidly higher, as well, adding 0.6%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng managed a 0.1% gain ahead of Sunday's chief executive election. South Korea's Kospi bucked the trend higher, giving back 0.2%, with Samsung Electronics shares slipping after the firm held off on adopting Elliott Management's proposed holding company structure.

European stocks are getting roughed up as uncertainty swirls around the U.S. healthcare vote, with insurance and energy shares leading the way lower. London's FTSE 100 is down 0.2%, and on track for its worst week since late January. Meanwhile, the euro jumped on better-than-expected flash purchasing managers indexes (PMI) out of France and Germany, while the reading for the broader eurozone arrived at its highest perch since July 2007. This is weighing on the French CAC 40 and German DAX, which have surrendered 0.5% and 0.2%, respectively.

Stay on top of breaking stock market news with Schaeffer's Midday Market Check.


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