Stock Futures Look Bright As Fed Meeting Takes Center Stage

The central bank could detail plans to shrink its massive balance sheet tomorrow

Sep 19, 2017 at 9:17 AM
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After posting its fifth straight record close and its seventh consecutive win, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is pointed higher before the open, as the highly anticipated two-day Federal Reserve monetary-policy meeting kicks off today. The central bank isn't expected to lift interest rates until December, but could detail plans to unwind its massive balance sheet. Traders are also digesting the latest round of economic data, which showed housing starts dipped in line with expectations in August. However, building permits surged to a seven-month high.

Meanwhile, speculators are eyeing Hurricane Maria -- the second major storm in two weeks to hit the Caribbean islands. The Category 5 storm could be headed for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands later this week, according to experts.

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

  • A word of warning on the SPY breakout, per Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • How options traders are playing tobacco stocks after FDA revisions.
  • The semiconductor ETF swinging higher on NVIDIA tailwinds.
  • Plus, a buyer for Bob Evans; AutoZone's earnings beat; and another Under Armour downgrade.

US Stock Futures Sept 19

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 910,932 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 559,663 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio and the 21-day moving average both fell to 0.61.
  2. Bob Evans Farms Inc (NASDAQ:BOBE) stock is up 5.6% in pre-market trading -- and set to open at a record high -- after consumer goods holding company Post Holdings announced its plan to buy the restaurant name for $1.5 billion, or $77 per share. BOBE touched an all-time high of $73.63 yesterday.
  3. Better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and same-store sales has shares of AutoZone, Inc. (NYSE:AZO) up 1.2% before the bell. The car stock closed yesterday at $563.40 -- up 14.6% from the three-year low of $491.75 it set on July 20.
  4. Under Armour Inc (NYSE:UAA) stock is down 2.9% in electronic trading, after Wells Fargo downgraded the sports apparel stock to "underperform" from "market perform" and cut its price target to $13 from $17. UAA shares have struggled this year, down 40% in 2017 after touching a four-year low of $15.92 on Sept. 1.
  5. Import and export prices will hit the Street today. Adobe Systems (ADBE), Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY), and FedEx (FDX) are set to report earnings

Buzz Stocks Sept 19

Overseas Trading

Japan's Nikkei came back from a long holiday weekend to score a 2% gain -- closing at its highest perch in two years -- as a cooling yen helped boost exporters and retail stocks. The same can't be said for the rest of Asia, however, as markets across the region settled lower ahead of a two-day central bank meeting in the U.S.  At the close, Hong Kong's Hang Seng was down 0.4%, China's Shanghai Composite was off 0.2%, and South Korea's Kospi had given back 0.09%.

European benchmarks are mixed at midday, as caution sets in ahead of tomorrow's policy decision and balance sheet update from the U.S. Fed. London's FTSE 100 is outperforming its peers, up 0.3% as J Sainsbury leads a rally in grocery stocks. The French CAC 40 is also higher, adding 0.1% after the country's finance ministry lowered its deficit forecasts for 2017 and 2018, citing better-than-expected economic growth. The German DAX, on the other hand, is down 0.1%, even after a Zew reading on investor confidence rose for the first time in four months.


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