Dow Futures Lower with Data, Earnings In Focus

Weekly jobless claims fell more than expected in the past week

Oct 18, 2018 at 9:10 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are trading below fair value this morning, with focus staying on yesterday's release of the Fed meeting minutes. Earnings also continue to roll through, as blue chip Travelers (TRV) released numbers this morning, and the post-close schedule is highlighted by American Express (AXP).

For economic data, 210,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the past week, coming in below forecasts of 212,000 and providing more evidence of a tight labor market. Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are set to open lower, as well.

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

us stock futures oct 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 915,666 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 621,882 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.68, and the 21-day moving average edged up to 0.63.
  2. TRV shares are trading lower in pre-market action, even after the company reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue. It's been a rough year for the shares, which have fallen from around $150 in early February to yesterday's close at $126.44. The insurance giant recently made headlines thanks to a partnership with Amazon, so maybe that could bear fruit for the company going forward.
  3. Speaking of Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), eBay Inc (NASDAQ:EBAY) is suing the company for supposedly trying to recruit eBay sellers away from the e-commerce site. The accusation comes less than a month after Amazon employees were accused of taking bribes from merchants. But AMZN shares have continued to rise in 2018, while EBAY stock has struggled.
  4. Today's big M&A story is Novartis (NVS) buying prostate cancer specialist Endocyte, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECYT) for just over $2 billion. ECYT shares have surged over 50% before the open as a result of the news, and the stock had already been strong prior to the announcement.
  5. Today traders will also take in the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey and the Fed balance sheet. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard will speak. It'll be a voluminous day for earnings reports, with AXP, Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), PayPal (PYPL), E*Trade (ETFC), KeyCorp (KEY), Limelight Networks (LLNW), Nucor (NUE), Philip Morris (PM), Skechers USA (SKX) and Sonoco (SON) all reporting. 

stock market news oct 18

China Stocks Get Crushed

Stocks in Asia suffered in Thursday's trading, taking cues from yesterday's U.S. Fed-related market dip. Japan's Nikkei closed 0.8% lower, after data showed exports in the region unexpectedly fell last month for the first time since 2016. Plunging oil stocks and a weakening yuan -- which closed at its lowest level against the U.S. dollar since January 2017 -- pushed China's Shanghai Composite down 2.9%, near a four-year low. Lastly, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.9%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 0.03% lower.

European markets are trading mostly lower at midday, as traders digest a raft of earnings reports. Among the big winners is French-based grocery name Carrefour, while a post-earnings drop for Germany's HeidelbergCement is weighing on the construction sector. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is 0.1% lower, Germany's DAX is down 0.06%. France's CAC 40, meanwhile, is enjoying a 0.3% gain.


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