Stock Futures Climb on Upbeat Retail Earnings

Target and Lowe's both reported second-quarter earnings beats

by Patrick Martin

Published on Aug 21, 2019 at 9:24 AM
Updated on Aug 21, 2019 at 9:28 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are pointing to triple-digit gains this morning, getting a shot in the arm from a round of upbeat retail earnings. After the blue-chip index snapped its three-day winning streak yesterday, investor fears of a faltering domestic economy are being temporarily assuaged by blowout quarterly reports from Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW). Both retailers reported second-quarter earnings and same-store sales numbers that topped expectations, while TGT also upped its full-year profit guidance. Later today, Wall Street will eye release of the latest Fed meeting minutes, looking for clues about future monetary policy.

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

  • it's best to sell stocks after this yield-curve signal, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White.
  • Options bulls piled on 2 pharma stocks that earned FDA nods.
  • This Shake Shack bull signal has never been wrong.
  • Plus, URBN rises despite mixed earnings; more opioid-related trouble for Cardinal Health; and Walmart sues Tesla.

Stock Futures Chart Aug 21

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 845,798 call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 587,627 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.69, while the 21-day moving average climbed to 0.71.
  2. Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) stock is lower in electronic trading, after the retailer reported second-quarter revenue and same-store sales figures that missed their mark. No fewer than five price-target cuts have come through, the lowest coming from Wedbush to $20. URBN has shed 37% in 2019 and fell to a two-year low of $19.63 last Thursday, Aug. 15.
  3. Cardinal Health Inc (NYSE:CAH) stock is down 1.3% ahead of the bell, after warning in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing that opioid-related lawsuits will hurt its business. The company has been named as a defendant in over 2,500 lawsuits. CAH bounced off its six-year low of $41.03 from Aug. 7, but remains below its year-to-date breakeven level.
  4. The shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are down in electronic trading, after Walmart (WMT) filed a lawsuit against the car company, alleging negligence due to repeated fires in Tesla's solar energy systems that are installed in several Walmart stores. TSLA is up 2.7% week-to-date through Tuesday's close at $225.86.
  5. Data on existing home sales and weekly crude inventories are due out. Earnings from L Brands (LB) and Nordstrom (JWN), are slated for release.

stock market news aug 21

European Stocks Climb on Merger Optimism

It was a mostly higher finish in Asia today, as traders looked ahead to this afternoon's release of the U.S. Fed meeting minutes. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.2% on a strong day for property developer China Resources Land. South Korea's Kospi also tacked on 0.2%, while China's Shanghai Composite eked out a fractional gain. Japan's Nikkei wasn't so resilient, shedding 0.3% on weakness in auto stocks.

European markets are boasting big gains at midday, as automakers pop on reports a Fiat Chrysler-Renault merger may be back on the table. Traders are also eyeing the resignation of Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and a German bond auction, where the country sold 30-year bonds at a negative yield for the first time ever. At last check, the French CAC 40 is up 1.5%, the German DAX is 1.2% higher, and London's FTSE 100 is flirting with a 1.1% lead.


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