Stock Futures Head Higher After Powell Decision

Jerome Powell is expected to address inflation worries at the Federal Reserve's annual symposium

Assistant Editor
Aug 27, 2020 at 9:30 AM
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Stock futures have reversed course this morning, as Wall Street eyes the Federal Reserve's annual symposium and an address from Fed Chair Jerome Powell. The central bank leader has introduced new pandemic-era framework to aid in economic recovery from COVID-19 and keep interest rates lower for a longer period of time. In a speech Powell confirmed that the Federal Reserve formally agreed to an "average inflation targeting" policy. 

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are now up roughly 80 points above fair value this morning, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are both poised to open modestly higher as well. Investors are also combing over a spate of economic data. Specifically, a second reading on second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) -- which showed a 31.7% decline -- came in slightly better than analysts expectations, while weekly jobless claims totaling 1 million fell in line with estimates. 

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

  • Whirlpool stock could keep spinning higher.
  • Options bulls and analysts alike are piling on HPE.
  • Plus, Abercrombie reported a surprising earnings beat; BURL eyes risks for current quarter; and UAA embroiled in a massive legal battle.

Futures Chart August 27

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw over 1.6 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 656,717 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.39, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.46.
  2. Apparel retailer Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that beat out Wall Street's estimated loss. The retailer did issue a warning on the continuing impacts from the pandemic could, however. Still, ANF is 10.5% higher ahead of the open.
  3. Burlington Stores Inc (NYSE:BURL) posted losses of 56 cents for its second quarter, which came in slightly better than analysts' estimates. Revenue, meanwhile, came in below forecasts, as comparable sales in re-opened stores fell 14% from last year. The company said it should see an improvement this quarter, though it is foreseeing "a lot of risk." Ahead of the bell, BURL is trading 0.8% higher. 
  4. After pulling out of a 15-year deal, Under Armor Inc (NYSE:UAA) was sued by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). UCLA is seeking over $200 million in damage, after the company ended the pact due to coronavirus-related cancellations of college sports. Ahead of the open, UAA is up  0.2%. 
  5. Today's economic calendar features pending home sales data. Meanwhile, Coty (COTY), Dell (DELL), Dollar General (DG), Dollar Tree (DLTR), Gap (GPS), HP (HPQ), Ollie's Bargain Outlet (OLLI), and Ulta Beauty (ULTA) will all report.

Buzz Chart Aug 27

 
China Takes Lead on Industrial Data; European Markets Eye U.S. Hurricane News 
Stocks in Asia were mostly lower after today’s session. Today’s only winner, China’s Shanghai Composite, added 0.6%, as data on Thursday revealed that profits in China’s industrial sector grew 19.6% from last year, and 11.5% in June. China is also proposing to let U.S. regulators audit its state-owned enterprises, a concession in a long dispute. Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.4%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 0.8%. Leading the losses, the Kospi in South Korea fell 1.1%, after the country’s central bank cut its 2020 GDP forecast.

Shares are sliding midday in Europe as well, as investors keep an eye on global news and oil prices due to the hurricane hitting Texas and Louisiana. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 has dipped 0.2%, the French CAC 40 is down 0.4%, and the German DAX is 0.3% lower.

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