Stock Futures Fall as President, First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19

A lackluster nonfarm payrolls report is also weighing on Wall Street

Managing Editor
Oct 2, 2020 at 9:10 AM
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It's set to be a brutal end to the week on Wall Street. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are staring at a steep triple-digit drop, after the bombshell news that U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19. "Reopening stocks" such as airliners and cruise names have taken the hardest hit, as investors fret about another bout of uncertainty now injected into the market ahead of the election.

S&P 500 Index (SPX) and the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are also sharply below fair value, as last month's Labor Department's nonfarm payrolls report signified a slowing hiring pace. U.S. jobs rose by only 661,000 in September, sharply below the 800,000 expectation.

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

  • A refresher on the different concepts of volatility in options trading.
  • Starbucks stock was hot after hiking quarterly dividends.
  • Plus, Amazon.com announces coronavirus stats; Activision Blizzard delays WoW game; and TWLO soars on upped guidance.

OV Futures Chart Oct 2

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.4 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 723,672 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio climbed to 0.50 and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.50. 
  2. Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) stock is down 1.9% in electronic trading, after the e-commerce giant revealed 19,000 of its employees have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last six months. The company plans to have 50,000 tests per day by November. Amazon.com stock is up 74% in 2020.
  3. Activision Blizzard Inc (NASDAQ:ATVI) stock is off by 2% before the bell, after the video game maker announced the delay of “World of Warcraft: Shadowlands” to later in 2020. ATVI is up 40% year-to-date, and remains near a historically bullish trendline.
  4. The shares of Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO) are up 8.9% ahead of the open, after the cloud company upped its third-quarter sales outlook. In response, seven brokerages have issued price-target hikes, the highest coming from D.A. Davidson to $330. TWLO has more than tripled off its March 16 multi-year lows of $68. 
  5. All eyes will be on the unemployment rate update.

OV Buzz Chart Oct 2

Overseas Stocks Rocked by Trump Testing Positive

Stocks in Asia finished Friday’s session mixed, as oil prices dropped and the Japanese safe-haven yen strengthened following U.S. President Trump’s announcement that he had tested positive for the coronavirus. South Korea’s Kospi paced the region with a 0.9% rise, followed closely by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng which finished the day 0.8% higher. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.2%, and Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.8%.

The president’s announcement also took its toll on stock in Europe, where the German DAX is being hit the hardest. The index was last seen down 1.3%, while France’s CAC 40 is off by 1%. Rounding out the region, London’s FTSE 100 has shed 0.8% so far today. 

 

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