Stocks Poised to Start November Strong

Jobless claims remain at multi-year lows

by Patrick Martin

Published on Nov 1, 2018 at 9:05 AM

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are on the rise once more, on track for their third straight gain, as stocks try to put steep October losses in the rear-view mirror. Blue chip DowDuPont (DDP) is an early morning earnings winner, while investors eagerly await the quarterly report from Apple (AAPL) after the close today. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also pointed comfortably higher amid a steam of economic data; U.S. productivity rose at an annual rate of 2.2% in the third quarter, and weekly jobless claims remained at their lowest level in decades.

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

Opening View Chart Nov 1

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.15 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 747,335 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dipped to 0.65, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.68.
  2. Roku Inc (NASDAQ:ROKU) stock is up 3.7% in electronic trading, after Wedbush upgraded the streaming name to "outperform" from "neutral," while cutting its price target to $65 from $73. The analyst in coverage sees ROKU with a prime opportunity for international expansion. Roku stock is fresh off its worst month ever, shedding 23.9% in October.
  3. Cigna Corporation (NYSE:CI) stock is up 3.4% ahead of the bell, after the healthcare insurer reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded expectations, and upped its full-year guidance. Cigna stock has been consolidating underneath the $215 level for the past month, but is now on track to trade at its highest point since late January.
  4. Shares of Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) are up 13.3% in electronic trading, after the company reported a surprise third-quarter earnings and revenue beat. FIT stock fell to a record low of $4.23 on Monday, but is on track to erase its October deficit of 11.6%. 
  5. The Markit purchasing managers index (PMI), the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) manufacturing index, construction spending data, and the Fed balance sheet will be released today. Also, CBS (CBS), Cirrus Logic (CRUS), GoPro (GPRO), Starbucks (SBUX), Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA), U.S. Steel (X), Universal Display (OLED), and Weight Watchers (WTW) will report earnings.

stock market news nov 1

Asian Markets Mixed, Europe Eyes Brexit Deal

It was a mixed finish for Asian markets today. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.8% and China's Shanghai Composite added 0.1%, with upside driven by a higher-than-forecast reading on the Caixin-IHS Markit PMI for October. The index arrived at 50.1, defying expectations for a drop into sub-50 contractionary territory. Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei fell 1.1%, led by steep losses for SoftBank as rival telecom firm KDDI unveiled plans to partner with Rakuten. South Korea's Kospi erased early gains to end 0.3% lower.

European markets are just barely higher at midday. British investors are eyeing reports suggesting a tentative Brexit deal has been reached on financial services access, with upside for equities capped by a corresponding lift in the pound. Meanwhile, corporate earnings have been mixed; telecom stock BT is 10% higher in London after posting results, while Credit Suisse is trading lower in Zurich after its third-quarter profit fell short of estimates. At last check, the German DAX is up 0.5%, while France's CAC 40 and London's FTSE 100 are both 0.1% higher.


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