Dow Futures Signal Strong End to Week

The first week of earnings season is set to end on a positive note

by Josh Selway

Published on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:08 AM
Updated on Oct 18, 2019 at 9:12 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading modestly above fair value this morning, as Wall Street considers the latest batch of corporate earnings. This morning it's blue chips American Express (AXP) and Coca-Cola (KO) grabbing the attention, with both stocks rising in pre-market trading thanks to upbeat quarterly results. Holding back the optimism, however, could be weak economic data out of China, which showed disappointing growth for the third quarter. Regardless, the Dow and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are set to cap off the first full week of earnings season with a second straight weekly win.

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

  • The call spread that crossed on one e-commerce stock.
  • Why new members of this small-cap index may not be an immediate buy. 
  • Options bears cashed out as Comerica shares slid more.
  • Plus, 2 familiar reasons for Coca-Cola's beat; da Vinci fuels strong quarter for Intuitive Surgical; and Telsey gets behind Stitch Fix. 

US stock futures oct 18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.1 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 719,068 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio was 0.65, while the 21-day moving average was 0.68.
  2. Diving into KO's strong quarter, the company's adjusted earnings per share of 56 cents matched expectations, but sales for the three-month period topped estimates, thanks to more consumer demand for sugarless drinks, along with the recently released Coca-Cola Plus Coffee product -- the business' bright spots for last quarter's beat, as well. The stock's 2.5% pre-market gain would have it near record-high territory at the open.
  3. Robot-assisted surgery specialist Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) is gaining 3.3% in electronic trading, after the company's own quarterly earnings beat. Intuitive Surgical reported almost 20% growth in the procedures utilizing its flagship da Vinci product, while sales from its instrument and accessory segment also showed impressive growth of roughly 25%.
  4. Internet fashion expert Stitch Fix Inc (NASDAQ:SFIX) has seen its shares rise since bouncing from the $18 level at the start of the month, yesterday topping its 80-day moving average for the first time since July. The momentum could continue today after Telsey Advisory Group began coverage with an "outperform" rating and $29 price target. SFIX is up 1.1% before the open.
  5. There will be speeches from Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, Kansas City Fed President Esther George, and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Earnings will come from Kansas City Southern (KSU) and Schlumberger (SLB). Next week, Amazon.com (AMZN) joins a number of Dow components on the earnings calendar.

stock market news oct 18

China Data Pressures Asian Markets

Most Asian markets closed lower today, as traders reacted to a dismal gross domestic product update out of China. Specifically, data showed the mainland's economy rose at a slimmer-than-expected 6% in the third quarter -- its slowest pace since 1992 -- as fixed-asset investments cooled.

As a result, China's Shanghai Composite slumped 1.3%, South Korea's Kospi gave back 0.8%, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.5%. Japan's Nikkei bucked the bearish bias, though, adding 0.2%, as a tepid reading on September inflation sparked stimulus hope ahead of this month's Bank of Japan meeting.

European markets have barely budged at midday, as investors eye this weekend's parliamentary vote on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Brexit plan. At last check, London's FTSE 100 is fractionally higher, while the German DAX has edged up 0.04%. The French CAC 40 is underperforming, down 0.4%, as Renault stock sells off after the automaker cut its full-year forecast.


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