Dow Futures Eye Triple-Digit Losses as Disastrous Quarter Wraps Up

Meanwhile, the S&P is pacing for it's biggest first-quarter drop since 1938

Deputy Editor
Mar 31, 2020 at 9:21 AM
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It's not looking good for Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures this morning, which are eyeing a triple-digit drop coming into today's trading. Not only that, the blue-chip index is pacing for its worst first quarter ever, down roughly 21.8% coming into today. Futures on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are also swimming in red ink ahead of the bell, with the latter also on track for its worst first quarter since 1938.

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

  • Options traders target 2 very different stocks amid COVID-19 headlines. 
  • This hedging ratio could get traders through periods of extreme volatility. 
  • Plus, MKC, RH stumble on revenue misses; American Airlines applies for $12 billion bailout. 

futures chart march 31

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 772,439 call contracts traded on Monday, and 522,485 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.68, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.84.
  2. Spice specialist McCormick & Co (NYSE:MKC) stepped into the earnings confessional this morning with first-quarter profits of $1.08 per share, which beat analysts' estimates. It's reported revenue of $1.21 billion, however, missed the mark. McCormick also withdrew its guidance amid coronavirus uncertainties. The stock is hovering below breakeven this morning, down 0.1%, after testing an overhead ceiling at its 30-day moving average yesterday. 
  3. Restoration Hardware Holdings, Inc (NYSE:RH) also posted its quarterly financial results, with fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $3.27 per share topping expectations, but revenue that missed estimates. The firm cited weak store traffic and an influx of backorders, while also withdrawing its financial guidance. At last check, RH is down 14.6% ahead of the bell, set to add to its 44.7% year-to-date deficit. 
  4. American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) is up 2% in pre-market trading after the firm announced it would be applying for up to $12 billion in government coronavirus aid, per an employee memo. AAL said the loan will ensure no involuntary layoffs or cuts in pay for the next six months. 
  5. Due out on today is the Case-Shiller home price index, the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), and consumer confidence data. Conagra (CAG) will report earnings.

Buzz Chart March 31 new

Chinese Economic Data Bolsters Overseas Markets 

Markets in Asia were mostly higher today. China's Shanghai Composite finished up 0.1%, after the country’s March purchasing manufacturers index (PMI) came in at 52, handily above analyst estimates of 45. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 1.9%, while South Korea's Kospi paced the region with a 2.2% pop. On the other hand, Japan's Nikkei shed 0.9%.

Over in Europe, stocks are lower, despite cautious global optimism after China's PMI data. London's FTSE 100 is down 0.1% at last check, while the French CAC 40 is off by 1.5%. The German DAX is sporting a 0.8% loss, despite a double-digit surge from meal kit maker HelloFresh.

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