Dow Futures Up Triple Digits as Index Eyes 23,000

The Dow is looking to notch a record high once again

Patrick Martin
Oct 18, 2017 at 9:20 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are comfortably higher this morning, signaling another record high for the index. The Dow is set to take aim at the 23,000 level it briefly crossed yesterday, with help from IBM's (IBM) earnings beat. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also higher ahead of the bell. Outside of earnings, traders are digesting lower-than-expected September housing starts and building permits, and are awaiting the Fed's Beige Book, which will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET. 

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

  • The sentiment indicator signaling a stock market slowdown, courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • A 7-figure bullish bet on this healthcare ETF.
  • This solar stock skyrocketed to a two-year high yesterday.
  • Plus, Express Scripts loses a key partner; McDonald's in hot water; and Merck scores a big win.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 923,267 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 613,431 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.66, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.65.
  2. Express Scripts Holding Company (NASDAQ:ESRX) stock continues to struggle, down 2.1% in electronic trading -- headed for four-year lows -- after Anthem (ANTM) announced its plans to start its own pharmacy-benefits manager. The service will begin after Anthem and Express Scripts' contract finishes up in 2020, with CVS Health (CVS) taking over the role of filling prescriptions.
  3. McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is in the spotlight this morning, as the fast-food chain is reportedly being probed in South Korea over illnesses stemming from undercooked hamburgers. According to Reuters, the company's South Korea headquarters were raided. MCD stock is down 0.2% before the open.
  4. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) stock is up 1.5% in electronic trading, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accepted regulatory submission for lynparza. Also, Citi initiated coverage on the blue-chip stock with a "buy."
  5. Traders will hear the weekly crude inventories update, as well as the Fed's Beige Book. New York Fed President William Dudley and Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan will speak. American Express (AXP), American Airlines (AAL), Alcoa (AA), Dunkin Brands (DNKN), eBay (EBAY), Sketchers(SKX), Steel Dynamics (STLD), United Continental (UAL), United Rentals (URI), and U.S. Bancorp (USB) are scheduled to release quarterly earnings.

stock news october 18

Overseas Trading

Stocks in China traded in a tight range, as investors digested headlines from the first day of China’s Communist party congress. There, President Xi Jinping touted the country’s supposed successes under socialism. The Shanghai Composite managed a meager 0.3% gain, while the Hang Seng added 0.1% in Hong Kong. In Japan, the Nikkei rose for a 12th straight day, adding 0.1%, though South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1%. 

Turning to Europe, stocks are mostly higher at the halfway point, as traders digest earnings numbers and economic data out of the U.K. Specifically, an update on the labor market for August showed a drop in U.K. wages, though the unemployment rate was steady. London’s FTSE 100 was up 0.4% at last check, trailing the French CAC 40 and German DAX, which were both up 0.5%. 


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