U.S. Stocks Head Higher, But S&P Pacing for First Monthly Loss Since March

Tropical Storm Harvey sparked explosions at a Texas chemical plant early this morning

Aug 31, 2017 at 9:19 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) are pointed higher this morning, with the index aiming for a fifth straight monthly gain. In economic news, inflation was relatively unchanged in July, and weekly jobless claims matched expectations. Traders will now turn their attention to Friday's highly anticipated nonfarm payrolls report. Elsewhere, gasoline futures continue to rise in the wake of Tropical Storm Harvey, which sparked explosions at a Texas chemical plant early this morning. Though the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is signaling a fifth straight daily gain today, the index is on track to suffer its first monthly drop since March. 

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

  • The landmark FDA decision sparking big stock moves.
  • How options traders are playing Ambarella stock ahead of earnings. 
  • Options buyers expect more losses for Kroger stock.
  • Plus, Campbell Soup heads for new lows; the shoe stock soaring after earnings; and Ciena's dim forecast.

Stock Futures August 31

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 708,226 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 401,363 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.57, and the 21-day moving average remained the same at 0.70.
  2. Shares of Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) are down 5% in pre-market trading, headed for new annual lows, after the company reported lower-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and lackluster sales. The food company also issued a full-year outlook that missed forecasts, and CPB is historically one of worst stocks to own during Labor Day Week.
  3. Better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue has Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ:SCVL) stock pointed 16.4% higher before the bell. As such, Susquehanna raised its price target on SCVL to $19 from $18. Earlier this week, Shoe Carnival stock hit a multi-year low of $15.08.
  4. Despite narrowly beating earnings and revenue estimates for its fiscal third quarter, Ciena Corporation (NYSE:CIEN) stock is down 7.8% in electronic trading, after the company unveiled a lackluster current-quarter revenue forecast. The tech stock will likely hit a three-month low.
  5. The Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) will come out today, along with the National Association of Realtors pending home sales index and data on household income. Dollar General (DG), lululemon athletica (LULU), Nutanix (NTXN), and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) make up the earnings slate

Buzz Stocks August 31

Overseas Trading

It was a mixed finish for Asian markets today, with Japan's Nikkei sidestepping regional selling pressure as a cooling yen boosted buying interest in exporters. Meanwhile, in China, traders weighed a stronger-than-forecast reading on the official manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) -- though, at 53.4, the PMI now stands at its lowest level in over a year. In Seoul, Kia Motors was one of the notable laggards, tumbling 3.5% after losing a labor dispute in court. Kia now expects to swallow a third-quarter operating loss, calling the 420 billion-won judgment "hard to bear." By the close, the Nikkei was up 0.7% and China's Shanghai Composite slipped 0.08%, while South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng each shed about 0.4%.

Stocks in Europe are modestly higher at midday, with mining and construction stocks leading the charge after China's PMI fell less than expected in August. Those gains are helping to offset weakness in retail; in addition to a big drop in German retail sales during July, France's Carrefour is on pace for its biggest daily percentage loss ever after falling significantly short of analysts' first-half profit estimates. At last check, the German DAX is 0.6% higher, while London's FTSE 100 and France's CAC 40 are both up 0.7%.



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