Stock Futures Buoyed by ECB Stimulus News

The ECB announced a longer-term loan stimulus program

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 7, 2019 at 9:22 AM
Updated on Mar 7, 2019 at 9:25 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is fresh off a three-day losing streak, but futures on the blue-chip index are cautiously higher today, propped up by the European Central Bank (ECB) decision to leave interest rates unchanged through the end of 2019 -- longer than previously forecast -- and launch a new longer-term loan stimulus program for banks. As far as economic data, U.S. productivity rose 1.9% in the fourth quarter, while unit labor costs increased 2%. And oil prices are set to climb, too, with April-dated crude futures up 0.9% at $56.75 per barrel.

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

  • 2 travel stocks flashing buy signals.
  • Options bears piled on GE after a CEO shocker.
  • This weed stock has options on sale.
  • Plus, American Eagle sinks on weak guidance; a big bull note for Constellation Brands; and Allergan under pressure after depression drug data.

Stock Futures Chart March 7

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 991,028 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 697,993 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio climbed to 0.70, and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.61.
  2. American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO) stock is down 2.9% in electronic trading, after the retailer's fourth-quarter revenue fell short of expectations. The company's current-quarter earnings guidance also came in lower than expected. AEO gapped 4.4% higher yesterday, but encountered familiar resistance near its 320-day moving average.
  3. Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) is up 1.6% ahead of the bell, after Credit Suisse initiated coverage on the beer maker with an "outperform" rating and $230 price target. Since falling to a nearly two-year low of $150.37 on Jan. 9, STZ has added 10%, but the overhead $175 level still lurks. 
  4. Shares of Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) are struggling in electronic trading, after the drugmaker's depression treatment failed three late-stage studies. Six price-target cuts have come through, including one to $155 from $161 at Credit Suisse. As of yesterday, AGN was clinging to its year-to-date breakeven level, and staring up at its 50-day moving average.
  5. Today's slate is highlighted by weekly jobless claims, the Fed's balance sheet, and consumer credit report. Plus, American Outdoor Brands (AOBC), Barnes & Noble (BKS), Burlington Stores (BURL), Costco (COST), El Pollo Loco (LOCO), Eventbrite (EB), GNC Holdings (GNC), H & R Block (HRB), and Marvell Technology (MRVL) all step into the earnings confessional.

stock market news march 7

China's Shanghai Composite Win Streak Hits 5

Stocks in Asia failed to generate much momentum, as traders continued to await more clarity on a U.S.-China trade deal. Still, China's Shanghai Composite managed to extend its daily win streak to five, edging out a 0.1% gain on the day. Meanwhile, China’s finance minister said that despite the country’s new fiscal policies, it will not open a “floodgate” of stimulus, according to Reuters. Elsewhere, Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.9%, and a pullback in chip stocks pushed Japan’s Nikkei down 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi joined the losers with a 0.5% retreat. 

European benchmarks are hovering near breakeven today following the ECB’s decision to provide new loans for banks as a way to stimulate the eurozone economy. London's FTSE 100 has come off its early lows, but remains off 0.2% on the day. Germany’s DAX is also trying to push into positive territory, last seen down 0.04%, while France’s CAC 40 is up 0.07%. 

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