Stock Futures Higher as Unemployment Hits 17-Year Low

The Dow and Nasdaq are on track for weekly wins

Managing Editor
Nov 3, 2017 at 9:16 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are pointed cautiously higher this morning, as markets process a busy week of earnings and economic data. Both the Dow and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are on pace for fresh intraday highs and weekly wins, with Apple (AAPL) providing a boost after its upbeat earnings report and encouraging iPhone X sales. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has more ground to cover to finish the week in the black.

The big news of the day so far is the nonfarm payrolls report, which showed the U.S. economy added 261,000 jobs in October, below Wall Street expectations of 310,000. However, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 4.1%, the lowest point in 17 years. Investors are also still digesting the news of Fed Governor Jerome Powell's nomination to lead the central bank, as well as the new GOP tax reform proposal.

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

  • The housing sector spiraled as options traders eyed the new tax plan.
  • 2 bank stocks signaling a short-term bounce.
  • Earnings season was not kind to these 2 stocks.
  • Plus, Activision Blizzard's big earnings beat; Twitter's Trump fiasco; and Valeant gets an FDA nod.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.07 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 669,943 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.63, and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.66.
  2. Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) is up 2.6% in electronic trading, after delivering third-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded Wall Street's forecasts. The gaming specialist also upped its full-year forecast on the strength of its bestselling "Destiny 2" game, even as its holiday-quarter guidance came up short. ATVI stock has added 81% year-to-date, and attracted a flurry of bullish options attention ahead of its quarterly earnings.
  3. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is up 1.2% ahead of the bell, despite the company making headlines last night after a disgruntled employee on their last day of work deactivated President Trump's account. The @realDonaldTrump account remained unavailable for 11 minutes before reactivation. TWTR stock is up 21% year-to-date, and the social media platform earlier this week was the focus of a congressional hearing regarding Russian interference with the 2016 election.
  4. Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) is up 4% ahead of the bell, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unexpectedly approved Vyzulta, the company's glaucoma drug. Earlier this week, Valeant stock received a boost after updating investors on its debt reduction efforts. Despite the solid week, VRX stock has shed 24% year-to-date.
  5. Wall Street will also get a look at the ISM non-manufacturing index, international trade data, and factory orders today, while Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari is set to speak. Potbelly (PBPB) and Ruth's Hospitality Group (RUTH) will step up to the earnings plate

premarket stock movers nov 3 2017

Overseas Trading

Asian markets closed mostly higher today, though volume was low with markets in Japan closed for holiday. Nevertheless, South Korea's Kospi outpaced its regional peers, tacking on 0.5% as automakers rallied. In China, the Shanghai Composite closed down 0.4% following mixed readings on service sector growth, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.3%.

European markets are mixed at midday, as traders digest a round of corporate news. While financial shares are lower on a negative reaction to Societe Generale's earnings, auto stocks are getting a boost after the French government said it is reducing its stake in Renault. At last check, the German DAX is up 0.2%, while London's FTSE 100 is fractionally higher on data showing activity in the service sector rose more than expected last month. The French CAC, on the other hand, is down 0.08%.

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