Major Indexes Slip Following Lackluster U.S. Retail Sales Data

Rising COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is overshadowing vaccine news

Digital Content Manager
Nov 17, 2020 at 9:28 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are down roughly 260 points this morning, just a day after nabbing a record close last night. Similarly, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is set to open lower after a ground-breaking session, while the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) is eyeing marginal gains. It looks like optimism over yesterday's vaccine news has been dampened by the more than 1 million coronavirus cases confirmed in the U.S. in less than a week, according Johns Hopkins University data. Also discouraging traders is U.S. retail sales data, which saw a smaller-than-expected increase in October. 

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

  • Spaceflight stock plummets following COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Schaeffer's V.P. of Research, Todd Salamone, unpacks what the latest vaccine news might mean for Wall Street.
  • Plus, Amazon launches pharmacy service; vaccine frontrunner kicks off pilot delivery program; and Tesla set to join the S&P 500.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2 million call contracts traded on Monday, and 885,684 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.43 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.50. 
  2., Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is up 2% in pre-market trading, after the e-tail company launched "Amazon Pharmacy" in the U.S. today. The new service will enable customers to order prescription drugs online, and give discounts to Prime members. Year-over-year, AMZN is up 80%.
  3. Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is up 2.6% before the bell, after the pharmaceutical name kicked off a pilot delivery program in four states for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. The program is meant to help address distribution issues, as the vaccine needs to be stored at -94 degrees Fahrenheit. Longer term, PFE sports a 10% year-over-year lead.
  4. The shares of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) are up 13% in electronic trading, after the tech concern said it would join the S&P 500 before the open on Dec. 21. Tesla will be one of the highest valued members to join, and is currently more valuable than 95% of other companies in the index. Year-over-year, TSLA is up 479.4%.
  5. The day will be jam packed with industrial production, capacity utilization, and business inventories data. Additionally, the import price and home builders indexes are on tap.

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European, Asian Markets Lower Despite Vaccine Update

Asian markets finished today mixed, despite optimism surrounding COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S. The airline sector received a much-needed bump, especially in Japan where Japan Airlines and Nippon each surged over 3.7% and helped the Nikkei to a 0.4% win. Close behind, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.1%, while China’s Shanghai Composite and South Korea’s Kospi each lost 0.2%.

In Europe, the vaccine news is doing little to help stocks, with the majority of sectors and major bourses sliding into negative territory so far. In fact, London’s FTSE 100 has already shed 1.3%, with airliner EasyJet sinking after reporting a 50% quarterly dip in revenue. Rounding out the region, France’s CAC 40 and the German Dax have so far slid 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.


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