Dow Futures Climb Despite Lackluster Jobs Data

Jobless claims surged to their highest level since August

Assistant Editor
Jan 14, 2021 at 9:25 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up around 90 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are sitting just above breakeven. The slight gains come even as jobless claim data showed first-time claims for unemployment insurance surged to 965,000 last week -- the highest weekly total since August. The total was worse than Wall Street estimates of 800,000 and above the previous week’s total of 784,000.

The potential for a bigger economic stimulus package, as well as upbeat vaccine news, is so far drawing attention away from the jobs data and stewing political unrest. President-elect Joe Biden is expected to present a stimulus plan tonight, which will boost the recent direct payments, extend increased unemployment insurance, and provide support for state and local governments. Meanwhile, trial data showed that Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) one-dose Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective.

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

  • Signal says fresh highs ahead for this retail stock.
  • New Year's resolutions are underway, and PTON is prime for options bulls.
  • Plus, Nordstrom's holiday sales whiff; GameStop stock is red-hot; and Tesla dinged by recall news.

Futures Chart January 14

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.1 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 723,399 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio stayed at 0.34 and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.43. 
  2. Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWNstock is down 4.7% in electronic trading, after the retailer reported its holiday sales were down 22% year-over-year. Nevertheless, six analysts have hiked their price targets, the highest coming from Evercore ISI to $45 from $32. As of yesterday's close, JWN was up 184% in the last three months.
  3. The shares of GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) is up 15.9% before the open, on a frenetic move higher as shorts are squeezed out. Over the last three days, the security has gained more than 57% and scored a five-year high of $38.65 yesterday. In the last six months, GameStop stock has tacked on 649.4%.
  4. Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) was asked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to recall a substantial amount of vehicles, sending the equity 1.2% lower in pre-market trading. The electric vehicle behemoth was asked to recall 158,000 vehicles due to a potentially defective touchscreens. Still, already in 2021, TSLA is up 21.1%.
  5. Today, the import price index is on tap.

Buzz Jan 14

Asian Stock Mixed Despite Upbeat Vaccine News 

Asian markets ended the day mixed as investors pored over economic data out of China, as well as headlines on Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. Specifically, China’s exports climbed 18.1% in December, exceeding expectations, while its imports data also saw a year-over-year rise. Nonetheless, the Shanghai Composite dropped 0.9%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Japan’s Nikkei both tacked on roughly 0.9%, and the Kospi in South Korea rose 0.05%.

European markets are higher with the vaccine rollout, as well as stimulus updates in the U.S. boosting investor sentiment. So far, the London FTSE 100 has added 0.6%, the German DAX is up 0.2%, and the French CAC 40 is 0.1% higher.

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