Dow Futures Fall Ahead of Powell

Investors are reacting to the latest round of economic data

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 1, 2018 at 9:15 AM
Updated on Mar 1, 2018 at 9:27 AM

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are trading below fair value this morning, signaling a third consecutive day of losses. Traders will turn their attention back to Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who will again be testifying before Congress. Ahead of this, Wall Street is weighing a surprising drop in weekly jobless claims, while personal incomes and wages rose in January, and consumer inflation picked up, too, according to the Commerce Department's personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index. Steel stocks will also be in focus, with President Donald Trump expected to announce tariffs on steel and aluminum later today.

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

  • Why the February loss may be good for stocks.
  • This VIX signal flashed for just the third time ever.
  • How these 2 Bill Ackman stocks soared yesterday.
  • Plus, Salesforce stock soars; another strong quarter for Best Buy; and a 3D Systems stock bull gap. 

stock prices today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 930,206 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 622,549 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.67, and the 21-day moving average ticked up to 0.66. 
  2. Cloud services provider Salesforce.com, Inc. (NYSE:CRM) last night reported impressive quarterly results that topped Wall Street's estimates across the board. CRM shares are pointed up 4% before the open as a result, putting them on pace to trade at a record high. Salesforce.com stock was already up 43% over the past year heading into today's session.
  3. Electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) also posted upbeat fourth-quarter results, highlighted by strong same-store sales growth. BBY shares, which touched an all-time peak of $78.59 on Jan. 23, are set to add to their 64% year-over-year advance, up 1.5% in electronic trading.
  4. Another pre-market move to watch comes from 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), which is trading 15.9% higher before the open. The move is in response to better-than-expected preliminary fourth-quarter earnings and sales from the 3-D printing concern. Even if the move comes to fruition, DDD shares would still be trading below the November bear gap from the last earnings release.
  5. Motor vehicle sales, manufacturing activity, and construction spending are on today's docket. On the earnings front, Ambarella (AMBA), American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), AMC Entertainment (AMC), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Gap (GPS), Kohl's (KSS), Nordstrom (JWN), Splunk (SPLK), Southwestern Energy (SWN), and VMware (VMW) report.

stock market news march 1

China Stocks Outperform in Asia

It was a mixed finish in Asia today. Japan's Nikkei tracked Wall Street's downbeat February finish, with financial stocks and exporters among the top decliners. However, China's Shanghai Composite closed up 0.4%, snapping a two-day slump after the Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) topped expectations. Hong Kong also advanced, with the Hang Seng ending the session up 0.7%. South Korean markets were closed for the Independence Movement Day holiday.

Bears have taken the reins in Europe at midday, where major equity benchmarks are firmly lower. The risk-off approach precedes another round of testimony by U.S. Fed Chair Powell, who's set to wrap up his congressional rounds today with a visit to the Senate Banking Committee. A few high-profile earnings misses have also sparked selling; media giant WPP is off more than 12% in London, while retailer Carrefour has tumbled nearly 6% in Paris. At last check, the German DAX has shed 1.6%, the French CAC 40 has given up 1%, and London's FTSE 100 is 0.8% lower.

 


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