Stock Futures Waver as GDP Revised Lower

The final reading of Q4 GDP was in line with expectations

by Patrick Martin

Published on Mar 28, 2019 at 9:18 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are perched just below fair value this morning. Investors are digesting a 2.2% rise in fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) -- on par with estimates, but downwardly revised from the previous reading of 2.6%. Trade talks between the U.S. and China are also in focus, after a Reuters report indicated the two sides had reached "unprecedented" progress in areas such as intellectual property theft.

Elsewhere, oil prices are set to pull back again, with May-dated crude futures down 1.7% at $58.41 per barrel. President Donald Trump lashed out at the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) again this morning, tweeting that the cartel should "increase the flow of Oil" as prices are "getting too high." 

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

Stock Futures Chart March 28

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 848,465 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 585,373 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.69, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.62.
  2. Lululemon Athletica inc. (NASDAQ:LULU) stock is up an impressive 13.7% in electronic trading, after the athleisure retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that blew past expectations. No fewer than 11 brokerages have issued price-target hikes this morning, including a boost to $197 from $182 at J.P. Morgan Securities. LULU is set to open north of its Oct. 1 record high at $164.79. 
  3. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) was downgraded at Susquehanna to "neutral" from "positive" on macroeconomic concerns. The brokerage firm also cut its price target on FDX to $192 from $211, with the new target implying expected upside of about 9% to last night's close at $176.09. The shares are set to extend a recent pullback from resistance at their 80-day moving average.
  4. Shares of Nielsen N.V. (NYSE:NLSN) are down 9.5% in electronic trading, after the New York Post reported that Blackstone has dropped out of the auction to acquire the ratings agency. Suitors are said to be wary of NLSN's hefty $8 billion debt load, which nearly matches its $9.5 billion market cap. Nielsen stock is set to gap below its 50-day and 80-day moving averages, which haven't been breached on a daily closing basis since late January.
  5. Today's economic calendar also includes jobless claims and pending home sales. Further, the Fed's balance sheet and speeches from Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard are also expected. Earnings releases are due from Accenture (ACN). 

stock market news march 28

Asian Stocks Mixed; Brexit Weighs on Europe

Stocks in Asia closed mostly in the red ahead of the next round of U.S.-China trade talks. China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.9%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng managed a 0.2% gain, as telecommunications giant ZTE posted a huge rally. In Japan, the Nikkei struggled, losing 1.6% on the day, and South Korea’s Kospi joined the losers with a 0.8% decline. 

So far in Europe, the trading has been mixed. Attention remains on the uncertain path forward for Brexit, with British Prime Minister Theresa May offering to step down should lawmakers accept her Brexit terms. London’s FTSE 100 is managing to push higher, last seen up 0.5%, as the questions around Brexit put pressure on the pound. Germany’s DAX is also testing positive territory, up 0.1%, and France’s CAC 40 is slightly below breakeven, down 0.08%.


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