Stock Futures Slide on Cohn Departure

Major equity benchmarks are signaling a sharp downturn

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 7, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Stock futures are signaling a sharp pullback following the resignation of White House economic advisor Gary Cohn. Cohn's departure has reignited fears of a trade war -- which have weighed on equities over the past week -- especially with European leaders warning of retaliatory tariffs. Turning to economic data, the ADP employment report for February revealed 235,000 new jobs in the private sector, blowing past expectations. Revised production data for the fourth quarter, meanwhile, came in flat. But while futures are off their lows, the Dow is still trading more than 200 points below fair value.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White discusses a Great Depression stock signal that just flashed.
  • Why options bulls were targeting drug stock Mylan
  • China's 500.com is destroying short sellers.
  • Plus, Stifel crashes Netflix stock's party; Autodesk bounce back; and Oprah trims Weight Watchers stake.

stock prices today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 906,597 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 472,145 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dipped to 0.52, and the 21-day moving average moved down to 0.67. 
  2. It's been a ridiculous year for Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX), with the shares hitting record highs in the past three sessions, and sporting a year-to-date gain north of 69%. Stifel thinks the stock has run up too high, however, and downgraded NFLX to "hold" from "buy" -- though the covering analyst said he still likes the business.
  3. Last quarter, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) got crushed after earnings, as investors punished the company for its restructuring efforts. It's a much different story this time around, with ADSK stock pointed 10% higher before the open, thanks to impressive fourth-quarter results and subsequent round of bullish brokerage notes. In fact, such a move would have the shares filling the aforementioned bear gap from November,
  4. Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW) was down in electronic trading earlier, on news Oprah Winfrey trimmed her stake in the company. However, a statement released by Oprah's company Harpo insisted she still has full confidence in the company and the sale was only to fund her philanthropic efforts, and WTW shares were last seen up 0.1% ahead of the bell.
  5. The MBA mortgage index, weekly crude inventories, Fed's Beige Book, international trade data, productivity and costs, and consumer credit report are expected today. Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will speak. Earnings are due from Caesars Entertainment (CZR), Costco, Plug Power (PLUG), Rosetta Stone (RST), Sears (SHLD), and Thor Industries (THO).

stock market news march 7

EU Threatens Peanut Butter Tariffs

Stocks in Asia closed lower on Wednesday after news of Cohn’s resignation hit. Japan's Nikkei fell 0.8%, with the yen catching a safe-haven boost. South Korea's Kospi gave back 0.4%, despite strong showings by tech giants like Samsung and LG. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1%, while China's Shanghai Composite finished 0.6% lower.

Markets in Europe are also reacting to Cohn's resignation. At a conference in Brussels, European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom mentioned peanut butter, cranberries, and orange juice as additional U.S. exports that could be hit with retaliatory tariffs from Europe. Meanwhile, steel stocks such as Glencore and Anglo American are trading firmly lower, down 2.3% and 1.6% respectively in London. The FTSE 100 was barely above breakeven at last check, while the French CAC 40 is down 0.2%. The German DAX has recovered from early losses to add 0.6%.


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