Stock Futures Higher Ahead of Fed Speeches; Nasdaq Looks To End Skid

Treasury bond yields continue to retreat

Managing Editor
Feb 23, 2018 at 9:12 AM
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Stock futures are pointed higher to close out the week, as investor anxiety from the Fed minutes dies down. The central bank will remain in focus today, though; several Fed speakers will take the mic, as a warm-up of sorts to new Fed Chair Jerome Powell's big testimony next week. With bond yields retreating again, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are more than 100 points above fair value, and S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are higher as well, with the latter on track to snap a four-day losing streak. All three indexes will need strong performances today to secure weekly wins, however.

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

  • 4 foreign ETFs to buy this week.
  • Buy the dip on this retail stock.
  • Options traders are banking on an earnings win for this leisure stock.
  • Plus, an upgraded shipping stock; HPQ toasts an earnings beat; and Universal Display issues weak guidance. 

Stock Futures Chart Feb 23

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 877,102 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 555,462 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio climbed to 0.63, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.64. 
  2. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) stock is up 1.1% in electronic trading, after Bernstein upgraded FDX to "outperform" from "market perform." The analyst noted that FDX is enjoying its fastest earnings growth yet, and has an attractive valuation. FedEx stock touched a record high of $274.66 on Jan. 18, but pulled back amid concerns about the new shipping service from (AMZN). Nevertheless, the equity has added nearly 27% year-over-year.
  3. HP Inc (NASDAQ:HPQ) stock is up 6.6% ahead of the bell, after the software company reported better-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue, while also giving strong full-year guidance. In response, BMO and Maxim issued price-target hikes, to $24 and $27, respectively. HPQ shares pulled back with the broader market earlier this month, but is on track to trade above its 20-day moving average for the first time this month.
  4. Shares of Universal Display Corporation (NASDAQ:OLED) are down 14.1% in electronic trading, after the Apple supplier reported a fourth-quarter earnings beat, but also forecast 2018 revenue below analyst expectations. In response, Susquehanna reduced its price target on OLED stock to $200 from $215. OLED shares are on track to trade below their 200-day moving average, and have shed 10% in 2018 thus far.
  5. New York Fed President William Dudley will speak, as well as Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, San Francisco Fed President John Williams, Kansas City Fed President Esther George, and Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren. For earnings, Cabot Oil & Gas (COG), Huntsman Corporation (HUN), and Royal Bank of Canada (RY) will close out the week. 

stock market news feb 23

Tech Stocks Lift South Korea's Kospi

Asian markets followed in Wall Street's bullish footsteps, with energy stocks some of the day's biggest gainers. Additionally, a big rally in tech shares lifted South Korea's Kospi 1.5%, while Japan's Nikkei jumped 0.7% as a weakening yen buoyed exporters and data showed a slightly larger-than-forecast rise in consumer prices last month. Elsewhere in the region, Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1%, while China's Shanghai Composite rose 0.6% -- shrugging off the state's seizure of Anbang Insurance Group, as the company's founder Wu Xiaohui faces charges for alleged fraud.

European benchmarks are mixed at midday, though moves are modest as traders look toward today's Fed speeches in the U.S. Also in focus is a negative earnings reaction for financial firm Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), though shares of German-based Deutsche Telekom are higher post-earnings. Most recently, the German DAX was up 0.2%, the French CAC 40 was fractionally higher, and London's FTSE 100 was off 0.2%.


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