Stock Futures Higher Despite Interest Rate Concerns

U.S. stocks were shook yesterday after the Fed meeting minutes

Managing Editor
Feb 22, 2018 at 9:15 AM
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Stock futures are slightly higher this morning, but held in check amid concerns over rising interest rates following yesterday's Fed meeting minutes. However, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard this morning warned that "a bunch of rate hikes this year" could slow the economy. Investors will have their ears trained toward additional Fed speakers throughout the day.

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

  • Buy calls on this software stock now.
  • This retail ETF could rally soon, if history repeats.
  • The cobalt battery buzz that boosted Apple stock.
  • Plus, Roku sinks on weaker guidance; and Chesapeake Energy and Stamps.com report earnings. 

Stock Futures Chart Feb 22

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 921,300 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 535,501 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.58, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.64. 
  2. Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) stock is down a whopping 19.7% in electronic trading, after the streaming content provider reported fourth-quarter results that beat estimates, but delivered lower-than-expected first-quarter and full-year guidance. In response, Roku stock is on track to trade below its 80-day moving average for the first time ever.
  3. Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) stock is up 7.6% before the bell, after the energy company reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue above analyst forecasts. Chesapeake Energy stock touched an annual low of $2.53 on Feb. 9, and has given back nearly 34% so far in 2018. 
  4. Shares of Stamps.com Inc. (NASDAQ:STMP) are up 9.3% in electronic trading, after the shipping company reported fourth-quarter earnings that surpassed analyst expectations. STMP stock had pulled back earlier this month, due to both broad-market headwinds and Amazon.com's (AMZN) foray into the shipping industry. Today, however, STMP shares are on track to trade above their 100-day moving average for the first time since Feb. 7. 
  5. Today will bring us data on weekly jobless claims and crude inventories, the Fed's balance sheet, and the Conference Board's index of leading economic indicators. New York Fed President William Dudley will speak in the morning, and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will take the mic later in the day. In terms of earnings, First Solar (FSLR), GoDaddy (GDDY), Herbalife (HLF), HP Inc (HPQ), Intuit (INTU), Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (RRGB), Universal Display (OLED), Wayfair (W), Wingstop (WING), and Zoe's Kitchen (ZOES) are all slated to report earnings.

stock market news february 22

Fed Minutes, Volatility Reach Asian and European Markets

It was a mostly lower finish in Asia today, with many traders taking a risk-off approach after Wall Street's volatile Wednesday finish. Hong Kong's Hang Seng dropped 1.5%, Japan's Nikkei gave up 1.1%, and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.6%. However, traders in mainland China returned from the Lunar New Year holiday in a buying mood, with the Shanghai Composite closing up 2.2%.

Anxiety stemming from the latest U.S. Fed minutes has also swept Europe, where major equity benchmarks are trading lower at midday as investors weigh the prospect of rapid-fire rate hikes. Resource stocks are particularly weak in the wake of poorly received earnings from Anglo American, with those shares down 2.6% in London. At last check, the U.K. FTSE 100 was off 1%, the German DAX was down 0.7%, and the French CAC 40 was 0.4% lower.

 

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