Stock Futures Higher; Monthly Streaks In Jeopardy

The major stock indexes are set for their first monthly loss since March 2017

Managing Editor
Feb 28, 2018 at 9:11 AM
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U.S. stocks appear ready to move on from the jittery risk-off session created by Fed Chair Jerome Powell's testimony yesterday. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are all modestly higher, although not high enough to erase their monthly losses. This will mark the Dow and S&P 500's first monthly loss since March 2017. Elsewhere, investors are digesting the revised reading of fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP), which was trimmed to 2.5% from 2.6% growth, on par with analyst expectations. 

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

  • 25 stocks with room for upgrades, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • M&A rumors sunk these 2 stocks.
  • Why eBay stock has room to run.
  • Plus, Lowe's earnings miss; Dick's bans assault rifles; and the biotech suffering an FDA setback. 

Stock Futures Chart Feb 28

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 894,420 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 560,256 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.63, and the 21-day moving average rose to at 0.66. 
  2. Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW) stock is down 7% in electronic trading, after the home improvement company reported fourth-quarter earnings that fell short of estimates. Lowe's stock soared to a record high of $108.75 on Jan. 25, but pulled back with the broad-market sell-off. The news today, however, has LOW stock pacing to breach the $90 level for the first time since mid-December.
  3. While shares of Dick's Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) are only up 0.3% before the bell, the athleisure company is in the news for ending the sale of its assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. It will also not sell guns to anyone under the age of 21. The decision comes on the heels of the school shooting in Florida earlier this month, and the gun-reform debate has recently put pressure on firearm stocks.
  4. Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG) stock is down 6% in electronic trading, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected the biotech company's approval application for its multiple sclerosis drug Ozanimod. In response, SunTrust Robinson issued a downgrade to "hold" from "buy," while several other brokerages chimed in with price-target cuts. CELG stock could trade at its lowest point since 2014.
  5. On deck today will be the Chicago's purchasing managers index (PMI), pending home sales, and the weekly crude inventories report. Earnings names set to share include 3D Systems (DDD), Chico's (CHS), Crocs (CROX), Horizon Pharma (HZNP), L Brands (LB), Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (MACK), Monster Beverage (MNST), Mylan (MYL), Office Depot (ODP), Salesforce.com (CRM), TJX Companies (TJX), and Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX).

stock market news feb 28

Economic Data Slows Down Asian, European Markets 

Asian stocks closed lower today after China's purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI) plunged to a 19-month low in February -- likely due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Reaction to the data sent the Shanghai Composite down 1%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slumped 1.4%. Japan's Nikkei also gave back 1.4%, as the yen strengthened against the U.S. dollar and industrial output fell more than expected in January. Additionally, the Bank of Japan (BoJ) said it would slow the pace of long bond purchases. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi closed down 1.2%, as tech shares declined.

European equity benchmarks are mostly lower at midday, with basic materials among the biggest decliners on the heels of Wall Street's post-Powell losses. Insurance stocks were an early pocket of strength in London following well-received results from Admiral Group, but the shares have since erased their morning gains. A mixed bag of economic data is also in focus, including a cool-down in eurozone inflation and a drop in French consumer spending. At last check, the French CAC 40 is off 0.3%, the German DAX is down 0.2%, and London's FTSE 100 is just 0.01% higher.


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