Stock Futures Climbing Ahead of Powell Speech

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak at 10 a.m. ET

Managing Editor
Aug 24, 2018 at 9:19 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are above fair value this morning, as attention shifts toward Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech to the attendees of the Jackson Hole Symposium at 10 a.m. ET. Investors are hoping his remarks shed some light on the pace of future rate hikes, though one is widely expected at the Fed's September meeting. Earlier this week, the Fed's meeting minutes suggested the central bank is concerned about the potential impact of international trade disputes on the economy. On that note, trade relations with China remain icy, after the two sides were unable to find common ground this week. Elsewhere, oil prices are climbing once more, with October-dated crude futures 1.5% higher at $68.85 per barrel, at last check.

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

  • The medical device stock flashing a bullish signal.
  • Analyst: Pfizer deal is a "game changer" for Exact Life Sciences.
  • Call options are popular despite Akorn stock's struggles.
  • Plus, the FAANG stock boosted by an upgrade; Gap stock sinks on weaker sales; and Autodesk cheers an earnings beat.

Stock Futures Chart Aug 24

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 989,520 call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 606,644 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.61, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.64.
  2. Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) stock is up 1.9% in electronic trading, after Suntrust Robinson raised its rating on the FAANG stock to "buy" from "hold," while cutting its price target to $410 from $415. The analyst in coverage suggests buying the post-earnings dip, citing the company's growth and potential in India. NFLX nabbed an all-time high of $423.20 on June 21, but since then has shed 20%. 
  3. One retail stock not doing so hot this morning is Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), down 8.1% ahead of the bell. The company reported a bigger-than-expected decline in same-store sales, despite a second-quarter earnings and revenue beat. In response, B. Riley FBR slashed its price target to $33, while Suntrust Robinson upped its target to $30. GPS stock is set to open south of $30, potentially erasing month-to-date gains.
  4. Shares of Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) are up 11.3% in electronic trading, after the software name reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analyst forecasts. The company also raised the lower end of its 2019 guidance. A flurry of price-target hikes have already ensued, including to $180 at Berenberg. Should today's price action pan out, ADSK would nab a fresh record high. As of yesterday's close, the equity had already gained 30% for 2018.
  5. The Baker-Hughes rig count and durable goods data are anticipated. Earnings are due from Buckle (BKE) and Williams-Sonoma (WSM). Meanwhile, Cigna (CI) shareholders are expected to vote on the Express Scripts (ESRX) deal.

stock market news august 24

Asian Markets Mixed; European Stocks Higher After Trump's Italy Comments

Stocks in Asia finished the mixed, after U.S.-China trade talks ended with no resolution. Japan's Nikkei pushed 0.9% higher, as the yen weakened following a lower-than-expected rise in consumer prices last month, and Eisai popped on reports the drugmaker will meet its fiscal target ahead of schedule. South Korea's Kospi closed up 0.5%, and China's Shanghai Composite managed a 0.2% gain. On the flip side, Hong Kong's Hang Seng failed to close in positive territory and finished down 0.4%.

European markets are modestly higher in afternoon trading, with investors digesting reports that President Donald Trump offered to buy some of Italy's debt in a meeting with the country's prime minister last month. London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX are both up 0.2% -- the latter following data that showed gross domestic product (GDP) rose 1.8% in the second quarter -- and France's CAC 40 is sporting a 0.4% gain, at last check.

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