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Stock Futures Look to Extend Monday's Record Highs

All three benchmarks hit fresh record highs yesterday

Deputy Editor
Dec 29, 2020 at 9:05 AM
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Stocks are on the rise this morning, after all three major benchmarks finished the last Monday of the year with record closes. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up over 120 points at last check, amid news that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would increase the individualized second stimulus checks to $2,000 -- though the Senate will be less likely to follow suit. S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are also in the black, as Wall Street keeps up momentum from the $900 billion coronavirus relief package, as well as vaccine rollouts. 

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

  • Options bears circled CLF after breather. 
  • Breaking down this popular options strategy
  • Plus, BNED rises on cost cutting efforts; FCAU rises on investment; and ARCT takes a dive after triple-downgrade. 

Futures Dec 29

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.7 million call contracts traded on Monday, and 760,851 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.44 and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.42. 
  2. Barnes & Noble Education Inc (NYSE:BNED) stock is up 8.4% ahead of the bell, after the bookstore company's Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Thomas Donahue stated to Wall Street Journal that they will continue to cut costs in anticipation of further remote education. Extending yesterday's annual high of $5.83, BNED is up 19.9% year-to-date. 
  3. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU) is up 0.7%% in electronic trading, after news that the company will be investing $2 billion in its Poland plant, to focus on the hybrid and electric versions of several car models. After yesterday reaching a fresh two-year high, the equity has added 45.5% in the last three months alone. 
  4. The shares of Arcturus Therapeutics Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:ARCT) are plummeting today, after the company reported underwhelming data on its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. To follow, Baird and H.C. Wainwright downgraded the stock to "neutral," and cut their price targets to $69 and $50, respectively, while Raymond James cut its rating to "market perform." At last check, ARCT is down 37.7% in pre-market trading. 
  5. Today will bring the Case-Shiller home price index


Japan's Nikkei Hits Highest Level in 30 Years

Asian markets were mixed once again today, after Wall Street surged to all-time-highs following U.S. President Donald Trump’s surprise signing of a new stimulus package. In response, Japan’s Nikkei rose 2.7%, surging to a 30-year high of 27,568.15. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi added 1% and 0.4%, respectively. Elsewhere, China’s Shanghai Composite settled 0.5% lower.

European stocks are higher, however, as investors respond with optimism to stimulus developments in the U.S. Also giving sentiment a boost is the post-Brexit trade deal struck between the European Union (EU) and the United Kingdom last week, and news that the U.K’s drug regulator could approve AstraZeneca’s (AZN) COVID-19 vaccine as soon as this week. As a result, London’s FTSE 100 was last seen up 2%, while France’s CAC 40 is up 0.4%, and the German DAX is 0.2% higher.



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