Stock Futures Inch Higher After Target Earnings

Target reported strong fourth-quarter online and in-store sales

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 5, 2019 at 9:24 AM
Updated on Mar 5, 2019 at 10:26 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading just above fair value this morning, as investors await fresh developments on the U.S.-China trade front. Over in China, though, the government cut its 2019 growth target to its lowest level in 30 years. Traders are also digesting a batch of retail earnings, with Target (TGT) emerging as a big winner thanks to fourth-quarter earnings and revenue beats -- driven by strong online and in-store sales. 

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone on how the Fed's body language could fuel stocks.
  • Options bulls have flocked to Alibaba stock.
  • The sell signal flashing ahead of Urban Outfitters earnings.
  • Plus, Icahn trims stake in Hertz; GameStop announces $300 million stock buyback; and Cowen bullish on Aurora Cannabis.

Stock Futures Chart March 5

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.1 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 719,577 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio climbed to 0.67, and the 21-day moving average arrived at 0.60.
  2. Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:HTZ) stock is down 6.7% in electronic trading, after a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing revealed activist investor Carl Icahn lowered his stake in the rental car company to 28.9% from 35.3%. Prior to today, HTZ had added 46% year-to-date, but had run out of steam around $20, an area that contained a breakout in late November. 
  3. GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) stock is up 4.2% ahead of the bell, after the company announced a $300 million share buyback and plans to retire $350 million 2019 notes. GME gapped lower in late January after the firm decided against a buyout, and fell to a 13-year low of $11.01 on Feb. 21. More recently, the shares have consolidated below the $12 level. 
  4. Shares of Aurora Cannabis Inc (NYSE:ACB) are up 3.3% in electronic trading, after Cowen initiated coverage on the cannabis name's Canadian shares with an "outperform" rating. The analyst in coverage waxed optimistic on ACB's potential to increase market share and profitability. The weed stock has gained 45.6% in 2019, with support in place at its 30-day moving average.
  5. Today will feature Markit's services purchasing managers index (PMI), new home sales data, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) non-manufacturing index, and the Treasury budget. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will speak in the morning. As far as earnings, AeroVironment (AVAV), Ambarella (AMBA), Ciena (CIEN), Kohl's (KSS), United Natural Foods (UNFI), Urban Outfitters (URBN), and Weibo (WB) are all slated.

stock market news march 5

Chinese Stocks Rise on Stimulus Buzz

Asian stock markets closed mixed today. China’s annual parliamentary meeting was squarely in focus, as the country announced lowered its economic growth target for the year to 6% from 6.5%. China also revealed tax cuts for businesses, on top of new spending and lending efforts. In response, the Shanghai Composite led the way again, gaining 0.9%. However, Hong Kong's Hang Seng managed just a 0.01% rise, while Japan’s Nikkei and South Korea’s Kospi suffered respective losses of 0.4% and 0.5%. 

Over in Europe, stocks are mostly trading in the red, though London's FTSE 100 is managing to outperform thus far -- last seen 0.3% higher, and Brexit buzz remains in focus. More specifically, the Bank of England (BoE) said investors should be prepared for volatility in financial markets if Britain leaves the European Union without a Brexit deal later this month. Meanwhile, the other major indexes in the region are in the red, with the French CAC 40 and German DAX down 0.4% and 0.3%, respectively. 

 

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