Stock Futures Set to Extend Losses Amid Dismal Jobs Data, Political Turmoil

Lawmakers are struggling to move forward with another stimulus bill

Digital Content Manager
Sep 24, 2020 at 9:29 AM
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The month of September continues to show no mercy to Wall Street, with stock futures once again pointed lower, building on yesterday's tech woes and financial uncertainty. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are staring at a 175-point drop. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are poised to open with significant losses as well, with the latter dragged down by the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB).

Elsewhere, investor sentiment is turning pessimistic after President Donald Trump did not commit to a peaceful transition of power, should he lose the election. Struggles over a second stimulus bill are also weighing heavily on investors' minds, leading Goldman Sachs to cut its fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) forecast by 3%. Worse-than-expected jobless claims data isn't helping matters either, with first-time claims for state unemployment benefits totaling 870,000 last week, higher than the estimated 850,000.

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

  • Why Zoom stock is bounding over the competition. 
  • Bullish signal says KB Home stock could reach 2007 highs.
  • Plus, unpacking E.W. Scripp's Buffet-backed acquisition; FedEx gets coronavirus-related upgrade; United Health in talks to buy pharmacy startup. 

Stock Futures 924 2

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.4 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 729,176 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.51 and the 21-day moving average jumped to 0.52. 
  2. E. W. Scripps Co (NASDAQ:SSP) is up 44.4% in pre-market trading, after the company announced it will buy TV network operator ION Media for $2.65 billion. The deal is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B), which will make a $600 million preferred equity investment in Scripps to help finance the purchase. SSP is up roughly 30.4% in the past three months.
  3. FedEx Corporation (NYSE:FDX) is up 1.1% before the bell, after the delivery giant received an upgrade to “buy” from “hold” from Stifel. The analyst thinks FedEx is benefiting from pandemic-related changes, citing faster-than-expected growth in demand levels. The security is up 104% in the last six months.
  4. The shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) are down 0.7% in electronic trading, after the health insurance provider was reported to be in advanced talks to buy pharmacy startup DivvyDose. Sources familiar with the matter say the proposed deal is worth about $300 million, but it has not been finalized. The stock is up 29.8% year-over year.
  5. Today is all about new home sales data as well as earnings from Accenture (ACN), BlackBerry (BB), CarMax (KMX), COST, Darden Restaurants (DRI), and Rite Aid (RAD).

OV Buzz Chart Sept 24

Asian Markets Drop as North Korea Tensions Escalate

Stocks in Asia were lower on Thursday, weighed down by escalating tensions between North and South Korea. According to reports, North Korea killed a missing official from South Korea earlier in the week, the first time since 2008 that a South Korean civilian had been murdered in North Korea. In response, South Korea’s Kospi closed down 2.6%. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai composite fell 1.8% and 1.7%, respectively, as tech stocks dropped across the board. Rounding out the region, Japan’s Nikkei tumbled 1.1%.

European stocks are mixed today, as investor hope for a speedy economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic fades. Two German government ministers are in quarantine after close contacts received positive tests; although the DAX is up 0.3%. Meanwhile, France’s CAC 40 has managed a 0.1% rise so far, while London’s FTSE 100 is down 0.1%. In the U.K., new unemployment measures have been introduced, as the number of COVID-19 cases more than triples since Tuesday.

 


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