Stock Futures Dip Despite Stimulus Proposal, Bank Earnings

Retail sales fell in December, worse than Wall Street expectations

Assistant Editor
Jan 15, 2021 at 9:18 AM
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Stock futures are modestly lower this morning, even after President-elect Joe Biden unveiled a $1.9 trillion stimulus plan and earnings season kicked off with a slew of major bank reports. Biden's plan, called the American Rescue Plan, increases and extends federal unemployment payments through September, as well as $1,400 direct payments to many Americans and an extension to the federal moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures. Biden is also expected to unveil his national Covid-19 vaccination program later today, as part of the relief plan.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are down over 175 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are both sitting below breakeven. Also weighing on Wall Street is a lackluster December U.S. retail sales report, which showed 0.7% drop, steeper than the flat expectations from analysts.

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

  • Options bulls are loving Plug Power stock.
  • A flurry of bull notes helped MRO hit a 10-month high.
  • Plus, JPM's fourth-quarter earnings beat; PNC stock stale despite upbeat report; and AMZN brushes off lawsuit.

Futures Chart January 15

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.6 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 946,247 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.36 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.43. 
  2. JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPMstock is up 0.3% in electronic trading, after the finance giant reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that bested analysts' estimates. The bottom line was propped up by strong trading and investment banking results. In the first two weeks of the new year, JPM has added 11.1%.
  3. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:PNC) also chimed in with a better-than-expected fourth-quarter report, yet is down 2.2% before the open. PNC said operational results were strong and an improving economy helped the banking behemoth recapture some credit reserves. Over the last nine months, PNC stock has managed a 78.4% rise.
  4. The shares of, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) are 0.2% higher in pre-market trading, despite news that the e-tailer is embroiled in a class-action lawsuit that alleges the company inflated the price of electronic books by colluding with publishers. According to reports, Amazon sells around 90% of all e-books. Amazon made headlines recently for booting conservative social media operation Parler, and has shed 4% already this year.
  5. Industrial production and capacity utilization data are due out later today. In addition, the Empire state and producer price indexes latest data are on deck. Lastly, preliminary consumer sentiment index data and business inventories reports are set to be released.

OV Buzz Chart Jan 15

European, Asian Markets React to Biden's Stimulus Package

Asian markets ended mostly lower on Friday as investors eyed U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s stimulus package, as well as headlines that the Trump administration just blacklisted smartphone producer Xiaomi, adding it  to a list of Chinese companies allegedly working with the country’s military. While the Hong Kong-listed shares of Xiaomi saw a dramatic drop, the Hang Seng managed to tack on 0.3%. Elsewhere, China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.01%, while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.6%, and the South Korean Kospi dropped 2%.

Over in Europe, stocks are also taking a breather as traders throughout the continent eye U.S. stimulus plans and spiking Covid-19 cases, specifically in China, where restrictions have been extended. In addition, the U.K.’s economy contracted 2.6% in November as a result of lockdown measures. At last check, the French CAC 40 is off 1.2%, the London FTSE 100 is down 0.9%, and the German DAX is 1% lower.


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