Stock Futures Slip as Tariff Woes Weigh

A mixed July jobs report is weighing on Dow futures

by Patrick Martin

Published on Aug 2, 2019 at 9:16 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are under pressure, extending Thursday's sharp afternoon pivot following the latest trade threat from President Donald Trump. China's foreign ministry has responded today by promising countermeasures in response to new tariffs -- and exacerbating anxiety this morning is the July jobs report, which seems to have only muddied the waters further in terms of Fed policy.

Specifically, the Labor Department's numbers showed nonfarm payrolls increased by 164,000 last month -- 1,000 fewer than expected -- while the unemployment rate remained at 3.7%, defying expectations for a drop to 3.6%. However, that was due to a jump in the participation rate, as the labor force swelled to a record-high 163.4 million. Elsewhere, oil prices are bouncing back, with September-dated crude futures up 2.2% at $55.13 per barrel. 

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

  • 2 reasons to short this oil stock
  • IBM stock earned a rare bull note yesterday.
  • 2 stocks that tanked after earnings.
  • Plus, subpar quarterly reports for Etsy and Square; and Newell stock on the mend.

Stock Futures Chart Aug 2

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.06 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 797,472 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio climbed to 0.75, while the 21-day moving average rose to 0.61.
  2. Etsy Inc (NASDAQ:ETSY) stock is down 3.9% in electronic trading, after the e-tailer's second-quarter revenue missed consensus forecasts. Etsy did raise its full-year guidance, though, prompting three price-target hikes, including to $70 from $62 at Stifel. 
  3. Square Inc (NYSE:SQ) is down 9% ahead of the bell, despite the software company's second-quarter earnings and revenue beat, as its current-quarter guidance fell short of Wall Street estimates. SQ has received two price-target hikes, as well as a downgrade to "underperform" from "outperform" at Evercore.
  4. The shares of Newell Brands Inc (NASDAQ:NWL) are up 7.3% in electronic trading, after second-quarter earnings surpassed expectations. The Sharpie maker also raised its fiscal year sales forecast. Heading into today, NWL was down 28% for 2019, tapping a seven-year low of $13.04 on May 31. 
  5. International trade data, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey, and factory orders are set for release today. Chevron (CVX), Exxon Mobil (XOM), Arconic (ARNC), and Seagate Technology (STX) will report earnings.

stock market news aug 2

Tariff Woes Hit Asian, European Markets

Global stocks got hammered following yesterday’s trade-related pullback in the U.S. Starting in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.4%, while the yuan suffered steep losses. It was worse in Hong Kong, where the Hang Seng suffered a 2.4% slide. There was similar weakness in Japan and South Korea, as the Nikkei and Kospi had respective losses of 2.1% and 1%. 

The selling is picking up in Europe, too, with utility stocks among the only names avoiding sharp losses. The French CAC 40 and German DAX were last seen sporting sharp losses of 2.7% and 2.6%, while London’s FTSE 100 is down 1.8%. Outside of the trade fears, investors are also considering corporate earnings, with Britain’s Royal Bank of Scotland among those making headlines after the lender topped analysts’ estimates.


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