Stock Futures Higher As Fed Meeting Begins

Pfizer (PFE) reported well-received earnings

by Patrick Martin

Published on Oct 31, 2017 at 9:17 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are pointed higher, as the blue-chip index appears ready to shake off yesterday's sluggish session and notch a seventh straight monthly gain. Pfizer (PFE) stock is powering the Dow ahead of the bell, thanks to an earnings beat. On the other hand, ugly guidance from Under Armour (UAA) is weighing on Nike (NKE) shares pre-market. Outside of earnings, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting begins today, though the stock market isn't expecting the Fed to lift rates until December. Markets also await President Trump's Fed Chair decision, which will reportedly be made on Thursday.

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

  • The catalysts that could keep this overbought market climbing, according to Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • How options traders are speculating on the Facebook and Twitter testimony.
  • Electronic Arts options players expect an earnings breakout.
  • Plus, Switch stock gets analyst attention; Valeant is ahead of schedule; and Qualcomm could lose a key ally.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 973,363 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 667,203 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.69, while the 21-day moving average jumped slightly to 0.65.
  2. Tech stock and market newbie Switch, Inc (NASDAQ:SWCH) received analyst attention from three brokerages today, including "market perform" ratings from Raymond James and Wells Fargo, as well as a $19 price target from the latter. BMO, meanwhile, started coverage with an "outperform" rating and $23 price target -- a 35% premium to the stock's initial public offering (IPO) price of $17, set on Oct. 6. SWCH stock closed at $19.35 yesterday, and is down 2.3% in electronic trading. 
  3. Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) stock is up 3.4% before the bell, after the pharma name said it will meet its $5 billion debt pay-down goal this later week -- earlier than expected. It's been a rough month for Valeant stock, which has shed 20% in October and is exploring five-month lows.
  4. QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) stock is down 4.3% in electronic trading, after reports surfaced that Apple (AAPL) could drop Qualcomm chips from the next iPhones and iPads. QCOM stock has added 5.4% in October, but is staring at resistance from its 200-day moving average.
  5. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), and the Conference Board's consumer confidence survey are all due out today. 3D Systems (DDD), Aetna (AET), AK Steel (AKS), BP (BP), Kellogg (K), Lumber Liquidators (LL), Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL), Shopify (SHOP), Sturm Ruger (RGR), and U.S. Steel (X) will step up to the earnings plate

stock news october 31

Overseas Trading

It was another mixed session for Asian stock markets. Most attention was centered on Japan, where the country’s central bank finished up a two-day meeting with the decision to keep its stimulative policies in place. The news helped the Nikkei pare its early losses, which were seemingly the result of a stronger yen, though the index still managed just a breakeven close. In China, stocks fought for gains following Monday’s bearish session, but the country’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) missed expectations for October. By the close, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.3%. In South Korea, Samsung’s blowout third-quarter earnings results helped the Kospi close with a 0.9% lead. 

In Europe, stocks are mostly in the black at lunchtime, while German markets are closed for holiday. In focus were airline name Ryanair and oil producer BP, after both companies revealed upbeat financial results. As a result, travel and oil stocks are among the top performers in the region, as most major indexes are set to close the month in positive territory. As for today, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.2%, and London’s FTSE 100 has gained 0.1%. 

 

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