Dow Futures Lower on U.S.-North Korea Disappointment

However, stronger-than-expected GDP data is keeping losses in check

by Lillian Currens

Published on Feb 28, 2019 at 9:09 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are marginally lower again today, after a summit between U.S. and North Korea leaders prematurely ended without an agreement -- or plans for a third summit -- in sight. Traders are also digesting better-than-expected fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, with GDP rising 2.6%, compared to the 2.2% expected. While the Dow is on pace for a weekly loss, the blue-chip barometer is set to finish February with a solid gain.

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

  • This mobile stock could soar, if past is prologue.
  • A holiday earnings beat had this retail stock running toward its best day in years.
  • 2 pharma stocks soaring this week. 
  • Plus, JCP gets a boost on earnings buzz; Western Union sells Speedpay; and Baird weighs in ahead of a big Tesla announcement.

futures chart Feb 28

Five Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.04 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 564.022 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.54, and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.60.
  2. J C Penney Company Inc (NYSE:JCP) shares are pointed 16% higher in pre-market trading, after the retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations. JCP has been trading in a channel of lower highs and lows since its post-earnings bear gap in August, and after bottoming at an all-time low of $0.92 on Dec. 27, has spent most of 2019 between the $1.20 and $1.40 levels. The shares today could break out of that channel, and look to top their 120-day moving average for the first time since April. 
  3. The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU) shares are 1.1% higher, after the financial company said it would be selling its Speedpay bill-paying unit to ACI Worldwide (ACIW) for $750 million in cash. The company also announced a buyback program worth $1 billion. WU has rebounded off its three-year low of $16.42 from Dec. 26, but upside momentum stalled around its 160-day moving average.
  4. The shares of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are up 1.5% in electronic trading, after Baird called the stock a "Fresh Pick" and reiterated its "outperform" rating. The analyst called the negativity around Tesla's Model 3 demand overblown. After the close, CEO Elon Musk is expected to deliver “news,” after he found himself back in hot water with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier this week. The stock has been attempting to close its mid-January bear gap, but has stalled around its 200-day moving average.  
  5. The economic schedule is highlighted by weekly jobless claims, the Chicago purchasing managers manufacturing index (PMI), and the Fed's balance sheet. Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida will speak in the morning, followed by remarks from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker later in the day.

stock market news feb 28

 

Asian Markets Take Hit on Summit News; Europe Eyes India- Pakistan Tensions

Markets in Asia took a hit today as investors reacted to news that the Trump-Kim summit concluded without an agreement. South Korea's Kospi responded with a 1.8% drop, as trade-sensitive stocks like chipmaker SK Hynix were pummeled. Elsewhere, China's Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong's Hang Seng both shed 0.4%, as China's official Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for February fell to its lowest levels in three years. Rounding out the region, Japan's Nikkei gave back 0.8%.

Stocks in Europe are mixed at midday amid resurfaced geopolitical tensions. In addition to the North Korea developments, investors are also monitoring tensions between India and Pakistan, after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan promised to release captured Indian wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman on Friday. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is down 0.5%, while the French CAC 40 and German DAX are trading right around breakeven.

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