Stock Futures Sluggish Ahead of Thanksgiving Week

Trading volume is typically light during the holiday-shortened week

Managing Editor
Nov 20, 2017 at 9:15 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are cautiously higher to start the historically quiet Thanksgiving week, after the index suffered its first back-to-back weekly losses since August. Both S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are also slightly higher. Stock traders are eyeing political uncertainty both at home and abroad, between Congress' ability to pass a GOP tax plan, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition struggles.

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

  • The big options bet on retailers before Black Friday.
  • The new Tesla customer with attractive options.
  • Bearish analysts are piling on this drug stock.
  • Plus, Acorda scraps Parkinson's drug; Vale gets upgraded; and Alibaba buys a grocery stake.

stock futures chart nov 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.2 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 694,225 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.56, the lowest ratio since late September. The 21-day moving average dropped to 0.64.
  2. Acorda Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACOR) stock is down 4.5% in electronic trading, after the drug company discontinued a development program for its Parkinson's treatment. The scrapped program comes on the heels of seven cases of sepsis and five fatalities last week. ACOR stock has shed 16% year-over-year.
  3. Vale (NYSE:VALE) stock is up 1.3% ahead of the bell, after receiving an upgrade to "outperform" from "sector perform" at RBC, while also getting a price-target hike to $14.50 from $11. The mining stock has tacked on 36% year-to-date, and the new target is in territory not charted since 2014. 
  4. Fresh off a successful Singles DayAlibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) stock is up 1.4% in electronic trading, after reportedly agreeing to buy a 36% stake in Chinese grocer Sun Art Retail Group. BABA stock touched a record high of $191.22 on Nov. 2, and has tacked on an impressive 111% year-to-date.
  5. The index of leading indicators is the sole economic report slated for today. Agilent Technologies (A), Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Intuit (INTU), Palo Alto Networks (PANW), and Urban Outfitters (URBN) will report earnings.

stock market news november 20

Overseas Trading

It was a mixed finish for Asian markets today. Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.6% amid strength in the yen and heavy losses for Toshiba, as the company announced a substantial share offering to firm up its balance sheet. South Korea's Kospi also turned lower, falling 0.3% despite a positive start to the session. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite bounced back from a negative open to gain 0.3%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng clawed its way to a gain of 0.2%.

European stocks are cautiously higher at midday, as traders eye a dive in the euro. The common currency is taking a hit on reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is struggling to build a coalition with the Free Democratic Party. At last look, the German DAX, France's CAC 40, and London's FTSE 100 have added about 0.1% each. 


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