Stock Futures Volatile Ahead of Busy Trading Week

September retail sales fell short of expectations

Oct 15, 2018 at 9:00 AM
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Last week's stock market volatility looks set to continue today. While Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are still signaling a lower open for stocks, they're far off their lows from earlier in the morning, and it's a similar setup for the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 (NDX). Traders are preparing for a full week of data and earnings on Wall Street, starting today with retail sales for September -- which came up short of expectations -- and Bank of America's (BAC) third-quarter results. Elsewhere, rising interest rates and growing tensions with Saudi Arabia will remain in focus.

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

us stock futures oct 15

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.07 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to 715,188 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.67, and the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.62.  
  2. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) stock is pacing for a positive post-earnings open, up 0.8% before the bell. The company beat estimates on the top and bottom line for the third quarter. Those who purchased call options last week will be hoping for an even bigger push higher from the shares, however.
  3. Last week we highlighted Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) as a potential target for bullish traders, and the video game stock is set to rise 1.1% at the open. Barclays upgraded the shares to "overweight" from "equal weight" and set an $86 price target, saying early engagement metrics for Activision's new "Call of Duty: Black Ops 4," released last week, look strong.
  4. In M&A news, Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) is buying L3 Technologies Inc (NYSE:LLL) in all-stock deal valued at north of $15 billion. LLL shares are up more than 6% in pre-market trading on the news.
  5. Today brings the New York manufacturing survey and business inventories data. Charles Schwab (SCHW) is also scheduled to report earnings.

stock market news oct 15

Asian Stock Markets Struggle

Stocks in Asia closed today lower, as investors remained cautious following last week's volatile trading. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.9%, as tumbling finance and defense stocks weighed heavy. In Hong Kong, suffering tech shares pushed the Hang Seng 1.4% lower, while in South Korea, the Kospi pulled back 0.8%. Meanwhile, China's Shanghai Composite took a loss of 1.5% -- and marked its lowest close since November 2014.

European markets are modestly higher in afternoon trading, with focus on this week's European summit, where Brexit will be discussed. London's FTSE 100 is up 0.1%, Germany's DAX is 0.5% higher, and France's CAC 40 is trading flat, at last check.


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