Stock Futures Gain Momentum On China Trade Optimism

U.S.-China trade talks will reportedly kick off this week

by Patrick Martin

Published on Aug 20, 2018 at 9:10 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are above fair value, suggesting stocks are ready to build off last week's momentum ahead of expected trade talks between the U.S. and China this week. S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are higher as well. Investors are also digesting news on the M&A front, where PepsiCo (PEP) announced plans to buy SodaStream (SODA) for $3.2 billion.

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

Stock Futures Chart Aug 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.24 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 867,592 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio jumped to 0.70, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.64.
  2. After shedding 14% last week for its worst week since February 2016, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock is down 5.5% in electronic trading this morning, after J.P. Morgan Securities dramatically slashed its price target to $195 from $308. The analyst in coverage expressed doubt that Elon Musk has secured funding to take Tesla private, and said "such a process appears much less developed than we had earlier presumed." TSLA is currently staring up at its year-to-date breakeven level, and has shed 13% year-over-year.
  3. Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) stock is up 2.2% ahead of the bell, after receiving a pair of much overdue upgrades. Piper Jaffray upgraded the footwear icon to "overweight" from "neutral," while boosting its price target to $93 from $72. In addition, Susquehanna upgraded NKE to "positive" from "neutral" and lifted its price target to $93 from $72. Nike stock nabbed a record high of $81.88 on Aug. 9, and could come within striking distance of that level again today. 
  4. Although shares of Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE:TSN) are stagnant in electronic trading, the food processing name is in the news on plans to buy Keystone Foods for $2.16 billion. TSN stock sunk to an annual low of $56.79 on July 31, but thanks to an upbeat earnings report earlier this month, has clawed back to add 8% in August. On Friday, the shares closed above their 30-day moving average for the first time since late June. 
  5. A speech from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic will kick off the week, while earnings from from Estee Lauder (EL) and Fabrinet (FN) are expected.

stock market news august 20

Trade Talks Pushing Asian, European Stocks Higher

Stocks in Asia finished mostly higher on optimism surrounding upcoming U.S.-China trade talks. Leading the way was Hong Kong's Hang Seng with a 1.4% gain as Tencent rebounded from last week's drop, and China's Shanghai Composite, which finished up 1.1%. Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi eked out a 0.04% win, and Japan's Nikkei suffered a 0.3% loss as chip stocks lagged.

Markets in Europe are trading higher at midday, with investor focusing on this week's lower-level trade talks between Beijing and Washington, and the end to Greece's lengthy European Union bailout program. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.3%, Germany's DAX is 1% higher, and France's CAC 40 is sporting a 0.6% gain.


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