Stock Futures Sink on U.S.-China Trade Pessimism

Meanwhile, Target and Lowe's are both surging on well-received earnings reports

Lillian Currens
Nov 20, 2019 at 9:17 AM
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Stock futures are pointing lower today after the Wall Street Journal said recent trade talks between the U.S. and China could soon come to an "impasse," which could stop the much-anticipated phase one agreement from happening. This comes shortly after President Donald Trump's threat to raise tariffs on Chinese goods if the two countries don't make a deal. In other news this morning, both Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW) are surging after well-received earnings reports. Meanwhile, Wall Street is eyeing the minutes from the Fed's October policy meeting, slated for release this afternoon. 

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

  • What a 3-year low in S&P volatility means for stocks, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. 
  • The British biotech stock that doubled on promising drug data. 
  • Plus, Raymond James upgrades Intelsat; DFFN pops on upbeat trial results; and URBN stock slips after earnings. 

Futures Chart Nov 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.13 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 652,013 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio moved up to 0.58, while the 21-day moving average came in at 0.59.
  2. Intelsat SA (NYSE:I) is surging in electronic trading after Raymond James lifted its rating to "outperform" from "market perform," citing the stock's improved valuation after a "dramatic" pullback. The security is up 16.3% ahead of the bell. 
  3. The shares of penny stock Diffusion Phamaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:DFFN) are poised to open 55.5% higher after its experimental brain tumor treatment, when used in combination with the current standard of care, led to increased survival rates in a late-stage study. 
  4. Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) is on track to open the session down 14.7% after the firm posted worse-than-expected profits for its third quarter -- its first miss in seven quarters -- citing price cuts in its women's apparel brand. URBN also fell short of sales expectations.
  5. Today, Wall Street will comb over the minutes from the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, along with the weekly crude inventories update. L Brands (LB), NetEase (NTES), and Nuance Communications (NUAN) will step into the earnings confessional.

buzz stocks nov 20

Tariff Threats Slam Asian, European Markets 

Asian markets took a hit today, after Trump told his cabinet he will "just raise the tariffs even higher" on Chinese products if the two sides don't strike a trade deal ahead of a planned Dec. 15 hike. In response, China's Shanghai Composite finished down 0.8%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave back 0.8%. Japan's Nikkei shed 0.6%, after export data for October fell by a higher-than-anticipated 9.2% year-over-year. South Korea's Kospi paced the region with a 1.3% loss, brought down by tech heavyweights Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix.

Over in Europe, stocks are declining amid the renewed trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Comments from the European Central Bank (ECB) in its Financial Stability Review are also in focus, after the bank warned of excessive risk-tasking as a macro challenge to the eurozone economy. London's FTSE 100 is down 1% at last check, despite a big earnings beat from software company Micro Focus. Elsewhere, the French CAC 40 is off by 0.4%, while the German DAX is down 0.7%.


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