Stock Futures Edge Higher Ahead of Expected Rate Hike

Markets are also gauging the ramifications of Doug Jones' win in Alabama

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 13, 2017 at 9:07 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are trading above fair value this morning, as investors await this afternoon's Fed decision. With the central bank expected to raise interest rates, outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen will hold a press conference after the announcement, and is expected to touch on the economy and tax reform. Also in focus is the Senate election results out of Alabama, where Democrat Doug Jones beat controversial Republican candidate Roy Moore -- a result seen as a blow to the Trump administration. Plus, the consumer price index (CPI) increased in line with expectations in November. As such, futures for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are also signaling a higher open, so both it and the Dow are eyeing a fourth straight record close.

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

  • 5 Nasdaq-100 rejects that could rally in 2018, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • How an options bull placed a risky long-term bet on this video game stock.
  • Options traders reacted quickly to yesterday's big Tesla news.
  • Plus, a big Apple investment; Honeywell's updated forecast; and a stock sinking after earnings.

stock futures today


5 Things You Need to Know Today
  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 526,105 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.51, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.60.
  2. Finisar Corporation (NASDAQ:FNSR) stock is up 21% before the open, thanks to news Apple (AAPL) is investing $390 in the chip company. FNSR stock was in need of a boost, as it's been trending lower in the second half of 2017, touching an annual low of $17.20 last week.
  3. After forecasting a 2018 profit range below expectations, Honeywell International Inc. (NYSE:HON) stock is set to drop 1.3% at the open. The industrial giant also told investors that "M&A remains a top priority." HON stock finished Tuesday at $153.74, up almost 33% in 2017, and hit a record high of $156.70 on Nov. 30.
  4. It's looking like VeriFone Systems Inc (NYSE:PAY) will let down put sellers today, as the shares are down 7.7% in pre-market action, due to a disappointing full-year outlook. The stock made a strong push higher in yesterday's pre-earnings session, only to be swiftly rejected by the 200-day moving average.
  5. The weekly update on crude inventories is also on the schedule today, while Pier 1 Imports (PIR) is the only company reporting earnings.

stock market news december 13

Overseas Trading

Most Asian markets closed higher today, though Japan's Nikkei bucked the regional bullish bias -- sliding 0.5% as chip stocks fell and the yen gained ground. Hong Kong's Hang Seng outpaced its peers with a 1.5% gain, as bank stocks surged. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite added 0.7%, and South Korea's Kospi jumped 0.8% as tourism shares, or so-called THAAD stocks, rallied as President Moon Jae-in kicked off a four-day trip to China and rumors swirled of a possible delay in joint military drills with the U.S. until after the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

European stocks are mostly lower at midday, as traders look toward today's rate decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve and tomorrow's policy announcements from the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England (BoE). At last check, the French CAC 40 was off 0.3%, while the German DAX is down 0.1%. London's FTSE 100, on the other hand, is up 0.1%, after data showed wage growth rose in October -- though the numbers still lag inflation.


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