S&P Futures Dip After Retail Sales, Missile Launch

Traders are also eyeing London after a possible terrorist attack

Sep 15, 2017 at 9:18 AM
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After closing higher for a fifth straight session yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is signaling a modestly higher open again today, with futures trading slightly above fair value. However, futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are pointing lower this morning, on news that North Korea fired another missile over Japan for the second time in less than a month. In addition, traders are eyeing a possible terrorist attack at a London Tube station.

Meanwhile, retail sales fell 0.2% in August, compared to the 0.1% expected increase, with motor vehicle sales falling 1.6% -- the biggest drop since January. Industrial production and consumer sentiment stats will also hit the Street today, giving traders another round of economic data to chew on ahead of next week's September Fed meeting.

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

  • Analyst: 'Buy' this online retail stock.
  • The defense stock boosting the Dow to record highs.
  • How Trump smacked this semiconductor stock lower.
  • Plus, First Solar scores an upgrade; Southwest Airlines is flying against sector peers; and Oracle's earnings reaction.

US Stock Futures Sept 15

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 930,834 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 523,494 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.56, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.63.
  2. First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR) stock is up 3% in pre-market trading, after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to "buy" from "hold" and raised its price target to $65 from $50, on expectations the renewable energy company will announce its series 6 modules sooner than expected. FSLR stock touched a 52-week high of $50.21 on Aug. 1.
  3. Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) -- last seen up 1.1% before the open -- is faring better than many of its airline sector peers, after J.P. Morgan Securities upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral" and raised its price target to $66 from $60, citing LUV's relatively attractive risk-reward profile. Meanwhile, the brokerage firm cut American, United, and Spirit Airline stocks to "neutral."
  4. Shares of Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) are down 3.8% in electronic trading, after the company issued a weak current-quarter forecast. Analysts, however, still seem bullish, with price-target hikes from Stifel (to $53), Barclays (to $59), and Jefferies (to $61). Prior to the earnings report, ORCL stock was flirting with record highs.
  5. Quadruple witching expiration hits the Street today, when futures and options on indexes and stocks simultaneously expire. The Empire State manufacturing survey and business inventories are also on tap. There are no earnings reports of note, ahead of next week's September Fed meeting.

buzz stocks sept 15

Overseas Trading

It was a mostly higher finish in Asia today, as traders weighed North Korea's latest missile strike -- with the projectile reportedly flying over Japan. South Korea's Kospi got an early lift from defense stocks, before settling up 0.4%. Japan's Nikkei also finished higher, tacking on 0.5%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1%. China's Shanghai Composite took the road less traveled, closing down 0.5%.

European stocks are trading mostly lower at midday, rattled by an explosion at a London Tube station that officials are treating as a terrorist attack and Pyongyang's missile launch. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 is down 1.1%, as the sterling trades at its highest level since the Brexit vote on signs the Bank of England (BoE) could raise rates by year's end. Elsewhere in the region, the French CAC 40 is down 0.2%, while the German DAX is up fractionally after data showed eurozone wage growth accelerated at its fastest pace in two years in the second quarter.


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