Stocks Set to Rally as China Outlook Brightens

There's also notable M&A buzz from the retail sector

Mar 26, 2018 at 9:19 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading more than 360 points above fair value, as stocks look to rebound from their worst week since 2016. Traders are digesting news the U.S. and China have started trade negotiations, which reportedly includes Beijing ramping up its purchases of U.S. semiconductors in order to lower its trade surplus. With trade war fears easing, Wall Street is also watching M&A developments in the retail sector and the latest news surrounding tech giant Facebook (FB).

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

stocks today

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.11 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 848,106 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.76, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.63.
  2. Analysts are weighing in on the semiconductor sector today.  For example, Raymond James upgraded Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to "market perform" from "underperform," saying it can't see a single negative catalyst on the horizon. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) stock, meanwhile, was downgraded to "negative" from "neutral"  at Susquehanna, which dropped its price target to $7.50 from $13. The brokerage firm also cut Nvidia Corporation's (NASDAQ:NVDA) price target to $200 from $215.
  3. Finish Line Inc (NASDAQ:FINL) is trading up 29% in pre-market action on news the athletic apparel retailer is being bought by U.K.-based JD Sports in a $558 million all-cash deal -- or $13.50 per FINL share. FINL stock closed last week at $10.55, down 27% year-to-date.
  4. Canaccord Genuity says the recent Facebook scandal presents a buying opportunity for FB stock, and the firm reiterated a $240 price target. The social media stock would need to rally more than 50% to reach this mark. Meanwhile, Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) just announced it'll be promoting more news from local sources on its platform.
  5. The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey will be released today. New York Fed President William Dudley will speak at 12:30 p.m. ET, while Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will take the mic after the close. Paychex (PAYX) and Red Hat (RHT) will report earnings.

Stocks on the move ahead of the bell

Chinese Stocks Lag Amid Trade Talk

Stocks in Asia pared earlier losses to finish higher today. Markets got a dose of optimism after the U.S. confirmed over the weekend it would exempt South Korea from President Trump's steel tariffs.  In response, South Korea's Kospi finished 0.8% higher. Japan's Nikkei closed 0.7% on the back of a weakening yen. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite bucked the regional trend and finished 0.6% lower, after Premier Li Keqiang said China and the U.S. should "adopt a pragmatic and rational attitude" and "stick to negotiations" to resolve rising trade tensions.

Markets in Europe are higher at midday as well, but gains are limited amid lingering trade-war uncertainty. Healthcare stocks in particular are doing well, as Roche Holding gained over 1% in Zurich after upbeat drug data for its lung cancer treatment. Germany's DAX is up 0.7%, London's FTSE 100 is sporting a 0.4% lead at last check, while the French CAC 40 is up 0.5%.


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