Dow Futures Gain, Nasdaq Eyes New High

The earnings and economic calendar will be relatively quiet today

Mar 12, 2018 at 9:14 AM
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Stocks closed last week on a strong note, and they're set to carry that momentum into this week, with Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures trading above fair value. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are signaling upside, too, with the latter index poised to follow the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) to fresh record highs. The economic calendar is rather bare today, giving investors more time to consider last week's blowout February jobs report as stocks test another potential layer of options-related resistance ahead of quadruple witching Friday.

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

what are stocks doing today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.26 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 671,967 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.53, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.64. 
  2. Fiber optics stock Oclaro Inc (NASDAQ:OCLR) is up almost 25% before the open thanks to news Lumentum Holdings (LITE) will buy the company for $1.8 billion in cash and stock. OCLR shares recently rallied after a strong quarterly update from the tech firm, but were still down 15% year-over-year as of Friday's close at $7.85.
  3. Last week we noted Century Aluminum Co (NASDAQ:CENX) could be in store for bullish analyst attention after President Donald Trump's tariff announcement, and this morning BMO upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "market perform" and lifted its price target to $28 from $20. CENX was last seen trading at $20.15 -- set to open the session up 2.7% -- recently bouncing near its 80-day moving average.
  4. Chip stocks could stay hot today, including Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), which is up 3.6% before the open -- putting MU shares on pace for another post-dot-com-era high. The equity has already more than doubled in value over the past 12 months.
  5. The Treasury budget will come out today, as well as earnings from Arena Pharmaceuticals (ARNA), Clearside Biomedical (CLSD), Dynavax Technologies (DVAX), Stitch Fix (SFIX), and Tilly's (TLYS).

stock market news march 12

Stocks In Asia and Europe Rise

Markets in Asia finished higher on Monday, boosted by the upbeat U.S. jobs report on Friday. Japan's Nikkei added 1.7%, while South Korea's Kospi jumped 1%, thanks to a recovery in steel producers. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.9%, fueled by a strong day from tech stocks, while China's Shanghai Composite closed 0.6% higher.

Stocks in Europe are higher at midday, as investors continue to applaud a solid U.S. payrolls report. However, worries remain about President Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs, with Germany's Economy Minister Brigitte Zypries commenting over the weekend that they "are putting the order of a free global economy at risk." London's FTSE is up 0.1%, at last check, while the French CAC 40 is up 0.3%, and the German DAX is up 0.7%. Utility stocks are particularly strong this morning, after E.On agreed to buy RWE's 76.8% Innogy stake.


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