Stock Futures Mostly Higher on Blowout Retail Earnings

Democrats and Republicans are still unable to agree on terms for additional COVID-19 relief

Assistant Editor
Aug 19, 2020 at 9:27 AM
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Stock futures are mostly higher this morning, just one session after the S&P 500 Index (SPX) notched a record-high close and pared its losses from the coronavirus selloff.  Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up as well, last seen around 40 points higher, thanks to stellar earnings from retail staples Target (TGT) and Lowe's (LOW). Meanwhile, Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are hovering just below fair value, despite yesterday scoring a record close. This comes after Treasures Secretary Steven Mnuchin criticized Democratic leaders for not agreeing to a smaller coronavirus relief package, though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she is willing to cut some demands. 

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

  • These two cannabis stocks are in focus after quarterly reports. 
  • A bull signal is flashing for Newell Brands stock.
  • Plus, Target's earnings blowout; two ride-share staples making moves in California; and SRNE plummets on CFO firing.

Futures Chart August 19

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw over 1.4 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 645,580 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.46, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.47.
  2. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) reported earnings and revenue that came in substantially above Wall Street's estimates. Additionally, comparable-store sales increased 24.3%, while digital sales nearly tripled from one year ago. As a result, TGT is up 8.2% ahead of the open.
  3. According to the New York Times (NYT), Uber Technologies Inc (NYSE:UBER) and Lyft Inc (NASDAQ:LYFT) are considering moving to a licensing model in California to avoid having to reclassify drivers as employees. Both UBER and LYFT are down 0.2% in pre-market trading.
  4. Biotech concern Sorrento Therapeutics (NASDAQ:SRNE) fired its Chief Financial Officer Jiong Shao, effective immediately, though a reason for the termination was not provided. As a result, SRNE is tumbling before the bell, last seen down 5.1%.
  5. Today investors will digest the latest meeting minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). The earnings docket is full, with reports from Analog Devices (ADI), Children's Place (PLCE), L Brands (LB), TJX (TJX), and Vipshop (VIPS) rolling in.

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China-Australia Tension Split Asian Markets

Markets in Asia were split today, as investors eye increasing tensions between China and Australia. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.3%, after data released showing Japan’s July exports slid 19.2% year-over-year -- better than the forecast 21% decline. The Kospi in South Korea had the best day, closing up 0.5%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.7%, and China’s Shanghai Composite lost 1.2%.

Shares in Europe are higher today, as Maersk, the world’s largest shipping firm, rises on positive second-quarter results. The German DAX and London’s FTSE 100 are both up 0.3%, despite U.K. inflation jumping to a four-month high of 1% in July, surpassing the expected 0.6%. Elsewhere, the French CAC 40 has risen 0.2%.

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