Stock Futures Sink to Start April

President Trump said the next two weeks will be "very painful"

Managing Editor
Apr 1, 2020 at 9:12 AM
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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are starting off April on the wrong foot, eyeing an almost 800-point drop this morning. Fresh off its worst quarter ever, the blue-chip index is facing particularly stiff coronavirus headwinds today, after U.S. President Donald Trump warned Americans yesterday to get ready for a "very painful two weeks." Futures on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are also sharply below fair value, as investors unpack rumors of additional stimulus measures from the U.S. government.

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

  • 25 stocks to avoid this month. 
  • How to use the VIX to read the stock market, according to Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White. 
  • Plus, Verizon stock's a "Conviction Buy"; retailer sent to small-cap index; and U.K. bank stocks cancel dividends.

Stock Futures Chart April 1

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 707,607 call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 495,839 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.70, and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.83.
  2. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) stock is down 1.9% ahead of the bell, although Goldman Sachs did add the telecommunications giant to its "Conviction Buy" list. The analyst in coverage praised Verizon's wireless business. Verizon stock is down 12% year-to-date, with resistance emerging at its 20-day moving average.
  3. Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) stock is down 7.7% in electronic trading, after news it will be replaced on the S&P 500 Index by Carrier Global. M will move to the S&P small-cap 600 index. Macy's stock has been unable to stay competitive amid a crowded retail sector, racking up an 80% deficit in the last 12 months. 
  4. The shares of Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE:RBS) are 3.3% lower before the open, after the company canceled its dividends to help maintain liquidity and in the wake of the coronavirus' impact on balance sheets. Fellow U.K. bank stocks HSBC (HSBC) and Barclays did the same. RBS stock hit a record low of $2.49 on March 20.
  5. Today will bring a jam-packed slate featuring the ADP unemployment report, weekly crude inventories, and the Markit manufacturing PMI. There's also the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) manufacturing index, construction spending, and data on motor vehicle sales. The earnings docket for the day is bare.

Buzz Chart April 1

Asia Markets Drop, Europe Unpacks Trump Comments

Markets in Asia receded back into the red on Wednesday. The Nikkei in Japan saw the biggest drop, down 4.5% after the big manufacturer’s index in the Bank of Japan’s Takan March 2020 came in at -8 for the first quarter – its lowest level since March 2013 – though the reading still came in atop analysts’ expectations. Over in China, traders digested the Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index for March, which also topped estimates and was higher than last month’s reading. In response, the country’s Shanghai Composite shed 0.6%. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 2.2%, and the Kospi in South Korea took a 3.9% haircut.

European markets are spiraling midday as traders comb over President Trump’s disparaging comments during last night’s press conference. The London FTSE 100 is off 3.7%, the French CAC 40 is off 4.1% and the Frankfurt DAX is down 3.9%. 

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