Stock Futures Bogged Down by Latest Jobless Claims

June retail sales did top estimates, though

Managing Editor
Jul 16, 2020 at 9:11 AM
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The latest weekly jobless claims are weighing on Wall Street this morning, as over the last week, 1.3 million Americans filed unemployment claims. This is a figure that surpassed the 1.25 million estimate, and overshadows a 7.5% rise in retail sales for June that toppled the 5% expected increase.

In response, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are below fair value by almost 200 points, despite relatively upbeat post-earnings reactions from blue-chips Morgan Stanley (MS) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are both under pressure as well, as investors also weigh an overseas selloff of mainland Chinese stocks. 

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

  • Cloudflare stock is ready to reclaim last week's peak. 
  • The education technology stock that's also prepared to reach new heights. 
  • Plus, Bank of America suffers post-earnings dip; Kroger puts its mask on; and Dollar Tree lands an upgrade.

Stock Futures Chart July 16

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.9 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 712,875 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio slipped to 0.38, and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.49.
  2. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) stock is down 3% in electronic trading. Although the finance name reported earnings and revenue that topped estimates, its loan loss reserves rose to $5.1 billion due to the COVID-19 pandemic. BAC was down 30.1% year-to-date heading into today.
  3. Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) stock is flat before the open, but made news as the latest retailer to require masks at its brick and mortar stores. The policy will go into effect on June 22. Kroger stock is up 19% in the last six months.
  4. The shares of Dollar Tree, Inc. (NASDAQ:DLTR) are up 0.8% ahead of the bell, after BofA Securities upgraded the discount retailer to "buy" from "neutral." DLTR is battling its year-to-date breakeven level, but is down 14.7% in the last 12 months.
  5. For today, core retail sales, the Philly Fed Index, and as always on investors' minds of late, are all scheduled. Domino's Pizza (DPZ), Honeywell (HON), eBay (EBAY), Netflix (NFLX), and Taiwan Semiconductor (TSM) will all throw their hats into the earnings ring. 

Buzz Chart July 16

Weak Chinese Economic Data Shatters Overseas Stocks

Stocks in Asia plummeted today, after vaccine hopes faded in the shadow of Chinese economic data that showed weakened retail sales and the lowest positive GDP since the country started reporting quarterly growth. Meanwhile, geopolitical tensions continue to build, after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday the U.S. will impose visa restrictions on Chinese tech firms. As a result, China’s Shanghai Composite closed 4.5% lower, followed by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which dropped 2%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi and Japan’s Nikkei both closed 0.8% lower.

Across the pond stocks are also retreating, failing to get a boost from the positive Chinese data as investors await the latest monetary policy decision from the European Central Bank (ECB). At last check, France’s CAC 40 was down 0.7%, the German DAX was down 0.6%, and London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.4%.

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