Stock Futures Sluggish as Markets Eye Powell Testimony

Powell to Congress: Gradual rate hikes expected, despite volatility

Managing Editor
Feb 27, 2018 at 9:17 AM
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Stock futures are sluggish this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) poised for a potential breather following yesterday's 400-point surge. In prepared remarks ahead of a question-and-answer session before Congress, new Fed Chair Jerome Powell said, "Despite the recent volatility, financial conditions remain accommodative" for gradual rate hikes. Elsewhere, durable goods orders fell by a larger-than-expected in amount in January, marking the first back-to-back monthly drops in roughly two years.

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

  • The VIX close that marks a possible buy signal, according to Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • Square stock could make a big move tomorrow.
  • How Trump sent these 2 steel stocks soaring.
  • Plus, American Airlines explores a joint venture; Fitbit's earnings miss; and the media M&A battle brewing. 

Stock Futures Chart Feb 27

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.03 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 614,035 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio slid to 0.59, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.59. 
  2. American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) stock is up 1.5% in electronic trading, after it was reported the company and fellow airliner Qantas were once again seeking regulatory approval for a joint venture on pricing and scheduling. AAL shares have added nearly 19% year-over-year, will recent pullbacks contained by their 320-day moving average.
  3. Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) stock is down 13.4% ahead of the bell, after the company reported lackluster earnings and issued weak current-quarter guidance. In response, Fitbit stock has received three price-target cuts this morning, including to $5 from $6 at Morgan Stanley. The equity is on track to touch a record low out of the gate.
  4. Shares of Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are down 3% in electronic trading, after the media company offered to buy British broadcaster Sky for $31 billion. The deal is a direct counter to 21st Century Fox's (FOXA) offer. CMCSA stock touched a record high of $44 on Jan. 24, but has since then pulled back to shed 7% in February. 
  5. Today will feature durable goods orders, international trade data, the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller home price index, and the latest consumer confidence report. AutoZone (AZO), Booking Holdings (PCLN) -- formerly Priceline, BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (BCRX), Community Health Systems (CYH), Etsy (ETSY), Hertz Global (HTZ), Live Nation Entertainment (LYV), Lumber Liquidators (LL), Macy's, Papa John's (PZZA), Steven Madden (SHOO), Toll Brothers (TOL), and Weight Watchers International (WTW) are slated to report earnings.

stock market news feb 27

Asian Markets Struggle While Europe Digests Sky Offer

It was a mostly lower finish in Asia today, as traders took profits off the table ahead of Powell's congressional testimony in the U.S. China's Shanghai Composite tallied the biggest loss of 1.1%, as big-cap banks stocks declined. And while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave back 0.07% and South Korea's Kospi shed 0.06%, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.1% amid a cooling yen. 

European markets are trading in negative territory at midday, though media stocks are outperforming after Comcast put in a $31 billion bid for broadcasting firm Sky -- much higher than Twenty-First Century Fox's withstanding offer. At last check, the German DAX was down 0.4%, the French CAC 40 was off 0.1%, and London's FTSE 100 was fractionally lower.


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