North Korea Nuke Buzz Boosts Dow Futures

The Dow is pacing for a second straight day of gains

Mar 6, 2018 at 9:17 AM
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News reports suggesting North Korea is open to discussions about denuclearization are providing a lift to stock futures this morning. South Korea made the surprising announcement following its meeting with the rogue nation, which said it would be willing to give up nuclear weapons if its safety is not in jeopardy. The two nations will hold a summit at the end of April. As such, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pacing for a more than 100-point pop at the open, following yesterday's broad-market rally. While the economic calendar is somewhat light today, New York Fed President William Dudley is delivering a speech this morning, and investors are also reacting to earnings from retail heavyweight Target (TGT).

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

  • Why Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone said it might be time to bet on low volatility.
  • 3 drug stocks that made huge moves yesterday.
  • Put players are piling on this Italian ETF after this weekend's election.
  • Plus, Target's post-earnings move; Mylan stock in focus again; and Credit Suisse unimpressed by McDonald's freshness.

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 934,275 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 514,775 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dipped to 0.55, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.67. 
  2. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) shares are pacing for a 1.9% drop at the open, as the company's fourth-quarter earnings miss overshadows better-than-expected sales. An analyst at Moody's however said the quarterly results are proof the retailer's investments in areas like online shopping and employee wages are paying off. Meanwhile, Target stock should hold support at the 50-day moving average even if the pre-market losses come to fruition.
  3. EpiPen maker Mylan N.V. (NASDAQ:MYL) is trying to build momentum after the company's well-received earnings release last week. The stock is pointed 3.3% higher in pre-market action thanks to bullish attention from Morgan Stanley, who upgraded its outlook to "overweight" from "equal weight," citing earnings growth potential and a competition advantage over other generic drugmakers.
  4. Coming off one of its stock's worst weeks in years, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) is in focus this morning after the company announced it's now serving fresh beef at roughly 3,500 U.S. restaurants and plans to expand the strategy to most other domestic locations by mid-2018. Still, Credit Suisse this morning slashed its price target on MCD stock to $175 from $191.
  5. Data on factory orders is expected. AeroVironment (AVAV), Autodesk (ADSK), Children's Place (PLCE), H & R Block, Medifast (MED), PTC Therapeutics (PTCT), Ross Stores (ROST), Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), T2 Biosystems (TTOO), and Urban Outfitters fill the earnings slate.

UPS, CIEN, JWN, and more on the move ahead of the bell this morning

Energy Leads Asia Higher as Pyongyang, Seoul Plan April Summit

Asian markets finished higher today, after North Korea reportedly expressed willingness to discuss denuclearization with the U.S. and South Korea. Japan's Nikkei gained 1.8%, led by automakers and manufacturing stocks as the yen cooled versus the dollar. South Korea's Kospi added 1.5%,  with Hyundai Heavy Industries rocketing 12.6% higher after scaling back the size of a planned share offering. Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 2.1% thanks to a 3.2% rally for top-weighted conglomerate Tencent and a 4% pop for energy giant CNOOC. China's Shanghai Composite added 1%, propped up by strength in oil prices.

Stocks in Europe are pointed higher at midday, after President Donald Trump appeared to soften his stance on tariffs yesterday. At last check, London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX are both up 0.8%, with the latter driven higher after upbeat deliveries data from automaker Volkswagen. The French CAC 40 is up 0.7%, as defense firm Thales surges 5.4% after earnings.

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