Retail Earnings Send Stock Futures Soaring

Wall Street is so far shaking off bad news for Moderna's possible COVID-19 vaccine

by Jake Scott

Published on May 20, 2020 at 9:22 AM

Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are thriving this morning, almost 300 points above fair value, after the latest earnings reports overshadow uncertainty surrounding a possible COVID-19 vaccine. Investors are encouraged by corporate reports from retail giants Lowe's (LOW) and Target (TGT), with both companies scoring top-line beats and same-store sales numbers that topped expectations. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also flying high, brushing off concerns from a report doubting the efficacy of Moderna's (MRNA) coronavirus vaccine breakthrough.

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

  • Increased reservations sent Southwest Airlines stock soaring.
  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White analyzes what day next week will be best to buy stocks.
  • Plus, Apple spends a pretty penny for Father's Day film; CVS returning COVID-19 stimulus; and Johnson & Johnson ditches talc.

Stock Futures Chart May 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.6 million call contracts traded on Tuesday and 726,030 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.46, and the 21-day moving average slipped to 0.60.
  2. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is up 1.2% before the open, after the company announced it will pay Sony (SNE) $70 million for the streaming rights for the World War II film "Greyhound," starring Tom Hanks. The movie was planned for a Father's Day debut, but those plans were scrapped due to the coronavirus. Apple stock is up 23.1% for the quarter.
  3. CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) stock is up 0.9% in electronic trading, after the pharma giant reportedly returned $43.3 million it had received from the CARES Act Provider Relief Fund. CVS is down 14% in 2020, with a ceiling emerging at the $65 level.
  4. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is in focus this morning after the company announced it will stop selling its controversial talc baby powder in the U.S. and Canada, after a drop in sales due to what JNJ labeled "misinformation" regarding the product's safety. Nevertheless, Johnson & Johnson stock is sitting above its year-to-date breakeven level, and just below its April 23 record high of $157.
  5. There's a mid-week break today as just the first-quarter advanced services are checking in. Meanwhile, Analog Devices (ADI), Expedia Group (EXPE), Take-Two Interactive (TTWO), and ZTO Express (ZTO) will step into the earnings confessional.

Buzz Chart May 20

Overseas Markets Weigh MRNA News, Economic Data

Stocks in Asia were mostly higher after today’s session, though slowing from yesterday’s rally amid news that experts are skeptical about Moderna’s (MRNA) shared test data. Bringing up the rear, China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.5% after China’s one-year loan prime rate (LPR) was revealed to be unchanged and in-line with expectations. Meanwhile, the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.5%, Japan’s Nikkei closed 0.8% higher, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng landed just above breakeven, gaining 0.1%. 
 
In Europe, shares are also unpacking the Moderna news, but there remains cautious optimism about the easing of lockdowns. London’s FTSE 100 is up 0.3% at last check, after U.K. consumer price index (CPI) slowed by 0.8% year-on-year in April, a tad weaker than the 0.9% forecast and down from the 1.5% annual figure from March. Meanwhile, the German DAX is up 0.2%, and the French CAC 40 has dropped 0.4%. 

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