Blue-Chip Earnings Boost Dow Futures

Several Fed speakers will share the limelight with earnings today

Apr 17, 2018 at 9:08 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading well above fair value -- pointing to a second straight day of big gains for the index -- thanks to positive earnings reactions for blue chips Goldman Sachs (GS), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), and UnitedHealth (UNH). The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also signaling a strong start, with FAANG stock Netflix (NFLX) soaring in electronic trading, after the streaming giant's first-quarter subscription growth and upbeat forecast was met with a round of bullish brokerage notes. Wall Street has an onslaught of Fed speeches to digest today, too, with San Francisco Fed President John Williams kicking things off at 9:15 a.m. ET.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone uncovers the short-term volatility risk facing stocks.
  • General Electric options traders are betting on a big earnings reaction.
  • One options trader keeps profiting from Bristol-Myers Squibb stock's decline.
  • Plus, Walt Disney gets upgraded; Wall Street is cautiously optimistic on Dropbox; and Tesla drops on Model 3 production halt.

us stock index futures april 17

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 914,223 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 583,158 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.64, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.67.
  2. Pivotal Research upgraded Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) to "hold" from "sell," waxing optimistic on the company's "positive elements" headed into the second half of 2018. Nevertheless, the brokerage firm lowered its price target on DIS stock to $93 from $94 -- a discount to last night's close at $100.24. Disney shares are up 1% ahead of the bell.
  3. Wall Street newcomer Dropbox Inc. (NASDAQ:DBX) received a round of brokerage notes overnight, as the stock's research blackout period ended. Deutsche Bank, for instance, said that while the stock isn't cheap, an untapped user base could create profitable opportunities -- and initiated coverage with a "buy" rating. RBC, meanwhile, started DBX stock with a "sector perform" rating, noting the company's strong fundamentals, but high valuation. Dropbox shares are 2% higher in electronic trading.
  4. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) said it has temporarily halted the production of Model 3 vehicles, saying it needs to improve production and clear bottleneck issues. And even though China said it will no longer require foreign stake limits for automakers -- a particular boon for the electric car concern -- TSLA stock is down 0.8% in pre-market trading.
  5. Housing starts and industrial production data will be released. Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, and Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will speak, while Fed Vice Chair Randal Quarles will testify before the House Finance Committee. IBM (IBM), Comerica (CMA), CSX Corp (CSX), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), Lam Research (LRCX), Progressive (PGR), and United Continental (UAL) will report earnings.

stock market news april 17

China's GDP Beat Fails to Boost Stocks

Stocks in Asia were a mostly lower today, as a slew of economic data took the spotlight amid cooling geopolitical tensions. China's first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) of 6.8% topped expectations, as did monthly retail sales -- but industrial production fell short of estimates. By the close, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.4%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.8%, and South Korea's Kospi gave back 0.2%. Japan's Nikkei bucked the regional trend and gained 0.06% after trading on both sides of breakeven throughout the day.

Markets in Europe are pointed higher at midday. Thanks to China's improving GDP numbers, miners and other basic resources stocks are leading the charge. London's FTSE 100 is up 0.2% at last check, with the pound strengthening after official data showed wage growth surpassing inflation for the first time in over a year. The French CAC 40 is up 0.5%, while the German DAX sports a 0.9% lead, despite the ZEW economic sentiment index cratering to negative 8.2 in April --  the lowest reading in more than five years.

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