Stock Futures Cautiously Higher as Markets Brace for Fed Minutes

The Dow and S&P 500 snapped their six-day winning streaks yesterday

Managing Editor
Feb 21, 2018 at 9:22 AM
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Stock futures are slightly higher this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) hoping to bounce back after snapping their six-day winning streaks. Markets are bracing for the release for the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes from last month. Stock traders will dissect the minutes for hints regarding inflation and the pace of future rate hikes. 

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

  • This volatility signal has marked key S&P turning points, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • How options traders are preparing for Pandora earnings tonight.
  • The drug stock soaring on a high-profile team-up.
  • Plus, Advance Auto Parts earnings; a lofty goal for Amazon; and Broadcom revises its bid for Qualcomm. 

Stock Futures Chart Feb 21

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 961,872 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 636,916 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.66, while the 21-day moving average rose at 0.64. 
  2. Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE:AAP) stock is up 7.2% in electronic trading, after the car parts retailer delivered fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analyst estimates -- likely to the dismay of recent AAP options traders. Since falling to a four-year low of $78.81 on Nov. 8, AAP stock has fought back to gain 33.7%, as of yesterday's close at $105.35. 
  3., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock is up 1.1% ahead of the bell, after receiving a price-target hike to $1,750 from $1,350 at MKM partners. The analyst believes Amazon's competitive advantage can continue to grow, and called the FAANG stock "the best growth story of all the mega-caps over the long term." Amazon has also begun to sell an exclusive line of over-the-counter health products. Amazon stock has gained nearly 26% so far in 2018, and reached a record high of $1,498.00 on Feb. 2. 
  4. Shares of Broadcom Ltd (NASDAQ:AVGO) are up 1.2% in electronic trading, after the chipmaker cut its buyout bid for Qualcomm (QCOM) by $3 per share. The move comes after QCOM upped its own bid for NXP Semiconductors (NXPI), though Broadcom said it will go back to offering $60 per share if Qualcomm's NXPI purchase falls through.
  5. Today will feature the MBA mortgage index, Markit's flash purchasing managers index (PMI), along with data on existing home sales. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will speak after the close. Avis Budget (CAR), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), DISH Network (DISH), Garmin (GRMN), Jack in the Box (JACK), (STMP), and Wendy's (WEN) all step into the earnings confessional.

stock market news february 21

Asian Markets Higher as Manufacturing Data Sinks Europe

Chinese markets remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday, though elsewhere in the region, stocks gained ground in the low-volume session. Hong Kong's Hang Seng outpaced its peers, surging 1.8% as financial shares surged. South Korea's Kospi added 0.6% -- shaking off a slump in steel stocks, after the government issued a complaint to the World Trade Organization over U.S. tariffs. Rounding things out, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.2%, as a cooling yen boosted exporters.

European markets are mostly lower at midday, following a mixed batch of quarterly earnings and preliminary data on eurozone manufacturing, which showed a slip from an 11-year high this month. Among individual names in focus, Atos is sinking after the French IT firm's quarterly results, while shares of U.K.-based miner Glencore are popping post-earnings. At last check, the German DAX was down 0.6%, and the French CAC 40 was off 0.3%. London's FTSE 100, however, is clinging to a 0.07% gain, even after unemployment unexpectedly rose in the fourth quarter.


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