Stock Futures Slump as North Korea Tensions Build

North Korea is unhappy with the tone of U.S. denuclearization talks

by Patrick Martin

Published on May 16, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are marginally lower this morning, struggling for direction after the blue-chip index's eight-day winning streak was snapped last night. Geopolitical anxiety is once again weighing on investors, as North Korea threatens to cancel the June 12 meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump if the U.S. continues to insist that Pyongyang surrender its nuclear arsenal. Stateside, retail giant Macy's (M) is rallying pre-market after an upbeat earnings report, while the 10-year Treasury yield has cooled from its near seven-year highs to stabilize around 3%. 

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

  • This volatility signal is flashing for the first time since 2009.
  • History says to buy the dip on this chip stock.
  • Traders are pricing in a big post-earnings move for this video game stock.
  • Plus, TripAdvisor stock gets downgraded; Buffett increases his stake in Teva; and more bullish praise for Micron.

Stock Futures Chart May 16

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 776,102 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 480,965 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio stayed at 0.62, and the 21-day moving average also remained at 0.62.
  2. TripAdvisor Inc (NASDAQ:TRIP) stock is down 0.7% in electronic trading, after receiving a downgrade to "sell" from "neutral" at Guggenheim. The analyst in coverage cited the difficult competitive environment as one reason for the downgrade. TripAdvisor stock scored an annual high of $50.69 on Monday, and has added 40% in 2018.
  3. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (NYSE:TEVA) stock is up 4.4% ahead of the bell, after a regulatory filing revealed that Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway more than doubled its stake in the drug company during the first quarter. TEVA stock is extending a recent breakout above resistance at its 200-day moving average, and is set to open around three-month highs north of $21.
  4. Shares of Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) are up 2% in premarket trading after RBC initiated coverage on the chip stock with an "outperform" rating and $80 price target. Analyst Amit Daryanani said Micron offers investors exposure to the DRAM and NAND markets at an attractive valuation. Micron stock has tacked on 31% in 2018, but as of Tuesday's close at $54.01, remains well off the 17-year high of $63.42 it hit on March 13.
  5. Today will bring speeches from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard. The MBA mortgage index, weekly crude inventories report, and data on housing starts and industrial production are also scheduled. Set to announce earnings are Cisco Systems (CSCO), Canadian Solar (CSIQ), Children's Place (PLCE), Jack in the Box (JACK), and Take-Two Interactive Software (TTWO).

stock market news may 16

North Korea, Italy Jolt Overseas Markets

Stocks in Asia finished mostly lower, as tensions resurfaced surrounding North Korean denuclearization talks. The overnight rise in U.S. bond yields also rattled markets, while oil stocks declined in step with Brent crude futures. Japan's Nikkei gave up 0.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng lost 0.1%, China's Shanghai Composite fell 0.7%, and South Korea's Kospi finished 0.05% higher.

European markets are mixed at midday, as Italian bond yields spike on concerns over a Brexit-style agenda from Italy's populist parties. Meanwhile, data showed eurozone inflation cooling off in April. London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX are both up 0.1%, and France's CAC 40 is 0.05% lower at last glance. 

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