Stock Futures Pare Gains on Tillerson Ouster

President Trump shakes up chip stocks -- and his cabinet, again

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 13, 2018 at 9:09 AM

Wall Street this morning is focusing on economic data, as investors react to February's consumer price index (CPI). Consumer prices ticked up 0.2% for the month, matching expectations and easing fears of accelerating inflation ahead of next week's Fed meeting. Stock futures soared as a result, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) ready for a triple-digit jump at the open. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), meanwhile, is seeking an eighth straight win.

However, futures have pulled back from their earlier highs after President Trump moments ago confirmed on Twitter that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Separately, the president officially blocked Broadcom's (AVGO) hostile takeover attempt of QUALCOMM (QCOM), citing national security concerns.

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

  • Don't bet on a deeper VIX decline right now, warns Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • The blue chip suddenly caught up in M&A speculation.
  • Analysts at Barclays sounded off on these 2 stocks.
  • Plus, Dick's falls short; Wall Street cheers a surging cloud stock; and U.S. Steel stays hot.

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.05 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 598,058 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio ticked up to 0.57, and the 21-day moving average came in at 0.63. 
  2. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. (NYSE:DKS) is trading down 4.9% before the open due to the company's lackluster sales update, while adding it will no longer provide quarterly outlooks in 2018. However, DKS shares are still holding above the $30 level, as they've been trading around the 200-day moving average -- located near $31.60 -- since mid-January.
  3. Analysts are raising their outlooks on red-hot cloud stock Nutanix Inc (NASDAQ:NTNX), with the shares yesterday hitting a record high of $51.63 after the company's purchase of cloud app Netsil. Jefferies and RBC set their respective price targets at $60 and $58, and even J.P. Morgan Securities got in on the action after it made a big bearish call on the shares in late January, putting its price target at $37. NTNX is already up 46% year-to-date.
  4. United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) will again be in focus today, after the company issued a stronger-than-expected full-year outlook thanks to a bump from tariffs. X shares have been consolidating in the mid-40s since surging higher back on Feb. 16 from the tariff news.
  5. DSW (DSW), Epizyme (EPZM), and GTx (GTXI) will report earnings.

stock market news march 13

Global Markets Search For Direction

Stocks in Asia were a mixed bag today, with steel stocks continuing to feel the pressure of looming U.S. tariffs. Japan's Nikkei added 0.7%, after Finance Minister Taro Aso called the Moritomo document-tampering scandal "regrettable," but continued to rebuff calls for his resignation. Nevertheless, speculation over a possible "Abenomics" regime change prompted the yen to fall against the dollar, and stocks resolved a choppy session to the upside. Elsewhere, South Korea's Kospi added 0.4%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.02%. China's Shanghai Composite diverged from its regional peers to settle 0.5% lower.

European markets are mixed at midday, as well. Utility companies were leading the charge, with E.ON adding 3.6% in Frankfurt after swinging to a quarterly profit. However, the German DAX is down 0.07%, dragged lower by an earnings miss from reinsurer Hannover Rueck. London's FTSE 100 is down 0.3% at last check, as the U.K.'s Office for Budget Responsibility gears up to release its spring economic forecast later today. Finally, the French CAC 40 is up 0.3%, despite a post-earnings plunge of nearly 8% from telecom giant Iliad.


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