American Express, IBM Pressure Dow Futures

The Senate must pass a short-term spending bill today to avoid a government shutdown

by Karee Venema

Published on Jan 19, 2018 at 9:10 AM

After staging a sharp reversal from record highs on Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is signaling a negative start to the trading session. All odds seem stacked against the blue-chip index today, with Dow stocks American Express (AXP) and IBM (IBM) set for post-earnings slumps. And while the House passed a short-term funding bill last night, the stopgap measure still has to clear the Senate ahead of tonight's deadline in order to avoid a partial government shutdown.

Plus, February crude futures are down 1.1% at $63.27 per barrel, after the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected "explosive" growth in U.S. shale oil production. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are trading below fair value, too, though the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) is on track to open higher. Nevertheless, all three major market indexes are pacing for a third straight weekly win.

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

us stock futures jan 19

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.16 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 649,195 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.56, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.55.
  2. Nomura Instinet raised its price target on Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) by $16 to $64 -- the highest on Wall Street -- saying 2018 will likely be another "phenomenal" year for the payment processor thanks to long-term gross payment value (GPV) growth. The new target represents a 59% premium to last night's close at $40.27, and the shares are up 3.8% ahead of the bell -- potentially good news for SQ options traders.
  3. Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB) reported an adjusted fourth-quarter profit beat of 48 cents per share, though its net GAAP loss grew to $1.63 per share on a $938 million write-down for its Venezuela investment. SLB stock is down 2.4% in electronic trading, on track for another post-earnings loss.
  4. Shares of Acorda Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ACOR) are up 15% in pre-market trading, after Bloomberg named the biotech as a potential takeover target -- with Biogen (BIIB) and Belgium's UCB SA among possible suitors. After closing last night at $25, ACOR stock is set to open at levels not seen since early November.
  5. The Baker-Hughes weekly rig count and the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey will be released today. First Horizon (FHN), Kansas City Southern (KSU), Regions Financial (RF), and SunTrust Banks (STI) will unveil quarterly results. Next week, get ready for an onslaught of Dow earnings.

stock market news january 19

Nintendo Boosts Nikkei to a Win

Asian stocks grabbed a win in the last session of the week. Traders in China continued to cheer the country's stronger-than-expected economic growth for the prior year, helping the Shanghai Composite and Hang Seng both close up 0.4%, with the latter index closing out a sixth straight week in the black. Nintendo stole the show in Japan, with the video game giant roaring higher thanks to new products for its Nintendo Switch system. As such, the Nikkei picked up 0.2%, as did South Korea's Kospi.

Major European bourses are also pushing for a positive finish. Mining and industrial stocks are outperforming, but the retail sector is lagging due to a sharp drop in December retail sales out of the U.K. Still, the FTSE 100 was up 0.3% at last check, the French CAC 40 was up 0.5%, and Germany's DAX has rallied 1.1%.


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