Stock Futures Inch Lower as Political Tensions Simmer

Vice President Pence will not remove President Trump via the 25th amendment

Assistant Editor
Jan 13, 2021 at 9:26 AM
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Stock futures are marginally lower this morning, as investors watch the market struggle to find footing amid rising interest rates, intensifying political tensions and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. As a result, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are down 55 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are sitting just below breakeven.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said he will not remove President Donald Trump via the 25th amendment, so now the House of Representatives will vote to impeach Trump for a second time. Elsewhere, data from Johns Hopkins University shows the U.S. is recording 248,650 new cases and at least 3,223 deaths each day, while consumer prices increased in December at a rate on par with Wall Street's expectations.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White assesses the Dow's worth in alternative assets.
  • After a stellar 2020, can Netflix stock replicate that success?
  • Plus, Target wins the holidays; Twitter upgraded; and YouTube bans Trump.

Futures Chart January 13

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.1 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 731,248 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.34 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.44. 
  2. The shares of Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) are up 0.5% before the open, after the retailer reported holiday season comparable sales and comparable in-store sales rose 17.2% and 4.2%, respectively. In addition, digital sales more than doubled, and the average customer ticket was 12.3% more than a year before. Year-over-year, Target stock is up 60.7%.
  3. Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) is up 1.5% ahead of the bell, after MKM Partners upgraded the equity to "buy" from "neutral." According to the firm, after continuing to crack down on conspiracy theories, the social media giant is in a position to move on from negative sentiment regarding the pandemic and its actions surrounding the president. Already in 2021, TWTR is down just over 13%.
  4. Following the lead of other social media sites, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) suspended Trump's YouTube channel, saying the channel was responsible for inciting violence that resulted in an attack on the U.S. Capitol last week. Over the last nine months, GOOGL is up 37.3%.
  5. Today will feature the Federal Reserve's latest "Beige Book" report, as well as federal budget data.

OV Buzz Chart Jan 13

Asian, European Stock Mixed in Response to Covid-19 Cases Rising

It was a mixed bag for markets in Asia today, as several countries made moves to tighten restrictions related to Covid-19. Japan plans on expanding the state of emergency to even more areas, while local authorities in China are increasing social restrictions as cases continue to spike. Amid these new measures, the Nikkei added 1%, and the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.3%. Elsewhere, the Hong Kong Hang Seng dipped 0.2%, while the South Korean Kospi added 0.7%.

European stocks are mostly lower at the midway mark, with traders monitoring Covid-19 vaccine rollouts throughout the region, as well as additional virus-related restrictions. The German DAX is 0.2% lower, after the country extended its lockdown period. The London FTSE 100 is also 0.2% lower, while the French CAC 40 is just above breakeven at 0.03% gain.

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