Jobless Claims, Stimulus Talks Have Stock Futures in Freefall

There are plenty of corporate earnings to be unpacked as well

Assistant Editor
Oct 15, 2020 at 9:29 AM
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The markets closed lower for a second-straight session yesterday evening, and they look primed to pull off a third, with stock futures down significantly this morning. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average's (DJI) are down nearly 330 points, with additional stimulus in focus, alongside news that European governments are reinstating pandemic restrictions in the face of a second wave of COVID-19 cases. S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are notably lower as well, as investors unpack a plethora of corporate earnings.

Meanwhile, the unemployment line got a little longer today. According to the Labor Department, 898,000 new claims were filed for jobless benefits last week -- well above the estimated 830,000 -- marking the highest level since Aug. 22. This is just another sign that the labor market is continuing to struggle amid the pandemic, though continuing claims are falling at a steady pace.

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

  • Tesla's pullback is nothing to fret over, according to this bullish signal.
  • Fresh highs could be in store for  L Brands stock. 
  • Plus, one blue chip's outstanding earnings report; more on Morgan Stanley's third-quarter beat; and why Wells Fargo just let go of over 100 employees.

Futures Chart October 15

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.6 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 795,529 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.47 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.49. 
  2. Blue chip Walgreen Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ:WBA) beat Wall Street's third-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts, and announced a 2.2% dividend increase. As a result, WBA is up 0.2% before the open, but has shed 39.1% this year.
  3. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is down 0.8% in pre-market trading, even after the banking behemoth reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that bested analysts' estimates. An 11% increase in investment banking revenue were partially to thank, and may explain some of the equity's 31.9% rise over the last six months.
  4. More than 100 employees at Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) have been fired, after it was alleged that they defrauded the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The program was designed to help small businesses weather the pandemic. At last check WFC is down 0.2% ahead of the bell. Longer term, the equity is just below its 2020 breakeven.
  5. Today comes with the import price index, the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index, and the Empire State Manufacturing Index.

Buzz Chart Oct 15

Asian Markets Fall as Economic Data Pours in From China

Stocks in Asia fell lower after today’s session, as investors unpacked a slew of economic data from China. China’s producer price index fell 2.1% in September, while the consumer price index rose 1.7% -- both lower than analyst expectations. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.1%, while China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.3%. Elsewhere, the South Korean Kospi fell 0.8%, despite Big Hit Entertainment doubling its IPO in its first day of trading, and Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.5%.

Shares are struggling over in Europe as well, with coronavirus restrictions popping back up in various countries. London’s FTSE 100 is down 1.9% at last check, while the French CAC 40 and German DAX have pulled back 2.2% and 2.7%, respectively.


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