Dow Futures Hold Higher Despite IBM Headwinds

Big Blue's earnings whiff is keeping a lid on the Dow's pre-market gains, though

Apr 18, 2018 at 9:15 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading well above fair value, brushing off a negative earnings reaction for IBM as bank stocks Goldman Sachs (GS) and JPMorgan (JPM) trade higher in the wake of a Morgan Stanley (MS) earnings beat. Investor sentiment is also getting a boost from easing geopolitical risk, amid news CIA Director Mike Pompeo met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently to discuss details of a potential summit with President Donald Trump. The positive pre-market action has the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) at risk for its seventh straight loss, which would mark its longest daily losing streak since last May.

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

  • This rare S&P signal sounded right before the 2008 stock market crash, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • 2 retail stocks with cheap options.
  • This software stock could be headed back to record highs.
  • Plus, the tech stock rising on an Icahn stake; LUV stock holds higher; and a jumping healthcare stock.

us stock index futures april 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.04 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 708,380 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.68, while the 21-day moving average remained at 0.67.
  2. Carl Icahn has reportedly taken a less than 5% stake in VMware, Inc. (NYSE:VMW), with some speculating the activist investor is attempting to block a full takeover by Dell, which owns 80% of the virtualization software firm. VMW stock is up 3.1% ahead of the bell, and could take out familiar resistance in the $132-$133 region after closing last night at $131.88.
  3. A Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV) airplane's engine exploded in mid-air on Tuesday, killing one passenger -- marking the first U.S. commercial aviation fatality since 2009. This follows a rough week for the airline sector following a scathing 60 Minutes investigation on Allegiant Travel (ALGT). Nevertheless, LUV stock is up 0.1% in premarket trading.
  4. Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings on surging sales for its da Vinci surgical device. The results were met with an onslaught of bullish brokerage notes, too, sending ISRG stock up 5.3% in electronic trading -- on track to open at a record high.
  5. Weekly crude inventories update and the Fed's Beige Book are due out today, while New York Fed President William Dudley is scheduled to speak. American Express (AXP), Abbot Laboratories (ABT), Alcoa (AA), Mattel (MAT), Pier 1 Imports (PIR), Skechers (SKX), Steel Dynamics (STLD), United Rentals (URI), and U.S. Bancorp (USB) will report earnings.

stock market news april 18

Oil Prices Boost Asian Stocks

Stocks in Asia finished higher today, as investors took their cues from Wall Street's gains. Energy stocks were among the top gainers, tracking a rise in Brent crude futures. Japan's Nikkei added 1.4% amid a weaker yen, while South Korea's Kospi gained 1.1%. China's Shanghai Composite endured a choppy session to finish 0.8% higher, with financial stocks leading the way after the People's Bank of China (PBOC) cut the reserve requirement ratio for banks by 100 basis points. Likewise, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed up 0.7%.

Markets in Europe are mostly higher at midday. London's FTSE 100 is up 0.9%, as a tamer-than-forecast rise in consumer inflation has tamped down expectations for a Bank of England (BOE) rate hike, and pressured the pound lower. The French CAC 40 is 0.4% higher amid a big merger in the energy industry, as oil major Total agreed to buy smaller rival Direct Energie for $1.7 billion, sending shares of the latter up 30.5% at last check. Lastly, the German DAX is off 0.1%, as downbeat data on European car registrations weighs on auto stocks.

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