Boeing Probe Reports Drag Dow Futures Lower

Federal prosecutors are said to be probing the development of the 737 MAX

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 18, 2019 at 9:18 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are pointed modestly lower this morning, under pressure once more from embattled blue chip Boeing (BA). Shares of the aerospace stock are down 2.5% ahead of the bell after The Wall Street Journal reported that Department of Transportation (DOT) officials and federal prosecutors are probing the development of Boeing's 737 MAX jetliners, with the DOT inspector general said to be looking into the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) approval of the jet's anti-stall system.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are cautiously higher, though. Investors are eyeing the latest U.S.-China trade news this morning, after a weekend report in the South China Morning Post suggested that talks between the two countries could be pushed back to June from April.

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

  • Kylie Jenner had a lot to do with Ulta stock's record high.
  • 3 reasons to buy this biotech stock.
  • Analyst sees 25% upside for Amazon stock.
  • Plus, how blockchain concern Overstock.com is responding to a "nauseating" turn in the earnings confessional.

Stock Futures Chart March 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.5 million call contracts traded on Friday, the most since Jan. 18. This is compared to 826,746 put contracts, also the most since Jan. 18. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.57, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.62.
  2. Okta Inc (NASDAQ: OKTA) stock is up 4.3% in electronic trading after receiving an upgrade to "buy" from "neutral" at Goldman Sachs. Berenberg also bumped its price target up to $92 from $73. OKTA nabbed a record high of $87.72 on Feb. 20 and ended last week at $79.21, just above support at its 50-day moving average.
  3. PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) is in focus ahead of the bell, after a Wall Street Journal report indicated the utility company was on the verge of naming a new CEO and shaking up its board. PCG has nearly quadrupled since its Jan. 15 intraday low of $5.07, but has run into short-term resistance at the $20 level. 
  4. Shares of Overstock.com Inc (NASDAQ:OSTK) are down 5% in electronic trading, after CEO Patrick Byrne described the company's fourth-quarter losses as "nauseating." The company has retained Guggenheim to explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale of its retail business -- in which case, Overstock would use the proceeds to fund its blockchain initiatives. OSTK flashed a bearish signal ahead of earnings.
  5. The economic calendar kicks off this week with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) housing market index. The earnings docket features Lumber Liquidators (LL) and Tilray (TLRY).

stock market news march 18

Solid Outing for Asian Stocks; Bank Stocks Prop Up Europe

It was a positive session for Asian equities, as investors look forward to the Fed meeting in the U.S. and new developments on trade talks. China’s Shanghai Composite posted a solid 2.5% gain, bolstered by a strong day from consumer staples stocks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also rallied, adding 1.4%. In Japan, the Nikkei rose 0.6%, boosted by gains from SoftBank and Nintendo, while South Korea’s Kospi ticked up 0.2%. 

The performance from European benchmarks is so far less impressive, despite sharp gains from banking giants Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank, which confirmed recent speculation about merger conversations. Traders are also considering trade data that showed the European Union’s (EU) surplus with the U.S. grew in January. Against this backdrop, London's FTSE 100 is up 0.6%, France’s CAC 40 is flat, and Germany’s DAX is down 0.2%. 


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