Stock Futures Shaky as Investors Eye Georgia Runoff Results

Private payrolls decreased for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic

Assistant Editor
Jan 6, 2021 at 9:26 AM
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Stock futures are slightly lower this morning, as investors focus on two runoff elections in Georgia which will determine whether Democrats take control of the Senate, or if Republicans will remain the majority in the upper chamber. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are just below fair value, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are more notably lower, as Democrat Raphael Warnock is projected to defeat incumbent Republican Kelly Loeffler. However, the race between Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue is too close to call, per NBC. In other news, private payrolls declined by 123,000 in December, after analysts expected growth of 60,000. The contraction marks the first fall in private payrolls since April 2020.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White highlights the SPX's second consecutive annual double-digit win.
  • More fresh highs could be in store for Bilibili stock.
  • Plus, more on one blue chip's big purchase; WFC rises after resolving anti-money laundering issues; and Hologic is set to close a big acquisition next month.

Futures Chart January 6

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.5 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 718,871 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.45 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.44. 
  2. UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) is down 2.3% before the bell, after the blue-chip health insurer announced its buying Change Healthcare (CHNG), and plans to combine the healthcare technology company with its Optum health IT unit. The deal is worth $25.75 per share in cash, or $7.84 billion; CHNG closed Tuesday at $18.24. Year-over-year, UNH has added 18.4%.
  3. Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) is up 3.1% in electronic trading, after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency notified the company that a 2015 consent order related to anti-money laundering compliance was terminated. Year-over-year, the equity is down 42.5%.
  4. The shares of Hologic, Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX) are up 4% in pre-market trading, in anticipation of a large deal that's set to close next month. Specifically, Hologic is poised to complete its of $230 million purchase of privately held cancer test maker Biotheranostics. Over the last nine months, HOLX has tacked on over 101%.
  5. The market heats up today, with the latest ADP employment report. Additionally, factory orders data and Markit services PMI will be released. The latest meeting minutes from the last Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will also be released.

OV Buzz Chart Jan 6

Stocks in Asia Mixed As Investors Eye Energy Stocks

Asian markets ended the day mixed. The Nikkei in Japan once again fell lower with a 0.4% drop, while the South Korean Kospi shed 0.8%. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite in China finished with a 0.6% pop, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng added 0.2%, brushing off U.S. President Donald Trump’s ban on transactions with eight different Chinese software apps. Investors across Asia also kept an eye on energy stocks, which got a jolt after Saudi Arabia agreed to production cuts for February and March.

European markets are making their way higher midday, as investors monitor the Georgia Senate runoff election stateside. The London FTSE 100 is up 2.8%. Meanwhile, the German DAX has tacked on 1%, despite a national lockdown that is effective until the end of the month. Elsewhere, the French CAC 40 is 0.6% higher.

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