Dow Futures Signal Gains Despite Pfizer, P&G Pullbacks

Today's economic slate is loaded, as well

Jul 31, 2018 at 9:07 AM
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U.S. stock futures are trading slightly above fair value this morning, ahead of a huge day of corporate earnings on Wall Street. So far traders have digested reports from blue chips Pfizer (PFE) and Procter & Gamble (PG), though both are sliding in pre-market trading. The main event will come after the close, however, when Apple (AAPL) releases earnings.

It's also a busy day on the data front, with the Fed-watched core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index rising a year-over-year 1.9% in June, while a number of other notable reports are due out later in the morning. Then, of course, the Fed's two-day meeting will begin later today. Against this backdrop, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are all set for positive starts, after a recent rough stretch for tech stocks.

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

  • What to expect if the Fed stands pat tomorrow, courtesy of Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone.
  • Analyst: Buy this restaurant stock before earnings.
  • Why Take-Two option bears are coming out of the woodwork.
  • Plus, Chipotle gets mixed news; a casino stock rising; and NutriSystem sinks.

stock futures today july 31

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 989,211 call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 715,707 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.72, while the 21-day moving average ticked up to 0.63
  2. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) stock is set to open 2.5% lower due to reports the company had to close an Ohio restaurant after reports of customers becoming sick. However, Jefferies still upgraded CMG stock to "buy" from "hold" and boosted its price target by $150 to $550, saying the company is well positioned with its shift to digital. CMG shares touched an annual high of $483.29 on Friday, after the company reported strong earnings, but closed Monday at $465.47.
  3. International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT) is a big earnings winner this morning, with the casino technology provider blowing past second-quarter sales estimates. Despite a recent team-up with FanDuel, IGT shares have remained lower on a year-to-date basis, but are set to overcome recent resistance from the 50-day moving average, up 7.7% before the open.
  4. Meanwhile, diet expert NutriSystem Inc. (NASDAQ:NTRI) is sliding after earnings, down more than 4%. While NTRI shares have added nearly 33% in the past three months, they remain nearly 32% lower year-over-year, torched by rival Weight Watchers (WTW).
  5. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), and consumer confidence will also hit the Street, and the Fed's two-day policy-setting meeting kicks off. Akamai Technologies (AKAM), Anadarko Petroleum (APC), Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), bluebird bio (BLUE), BP (BP), Cheesecake Factory (CAKE), Groupon (GRPN), Lumber Liquidators (LL), Pandora (P), Ralph Lauren (RL), Shopify (SHOP), Stamps.com (STMP), and Whiting Petroleum (WLL) will report, as well.

stock market news july 31

Earnings Lift European Stocks

It was a mixed finish in Asia today, as caution set in ahead of this week's raft of global central bank policy decisions. After the Bank of Japan stood pat on interest rates, the Nikkei added 0.04%. South Korea's Kospi also eked out a gain -- rising 0.08% -- while China's Shanghai Composite outpaced its regional peers, closing up 0.3%, even as the country's non-manufacturing and manufacturing PMIs slipped last month. On the flip side, Hong Kong's Hang Seng settled with a 0.5% loss.

European markets are mostly higher at midday, as traders weigh a fresh round of corporate earnings reports and economic data. A positive earnings reaction for Paris-based Vivendi is boosting the media sector, while Swiss lender Credit Suisse is higher after an earnings beat. On the economic front, gross domestic product (GDP) for the eurozone grew at a slimmer-than-expected pace in the second quarter, while inflation edged up to 2.1% in July from 2% in June. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.6% and the French CAC 40 is 0.2% higher. The German DAX, on the other hand, is flirting with a 0.07% loss.

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