Stock Futures Higher Thanks to Bank Earnings, Stimulus Hopes

President-elect Joe Bien will not lift travel restrictions

Assistant Editor
Jan 19, 2021 at 9:08 AM
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Stock futures are pointed higher this morning, looking to bounce back from a tumultuous week. Investors are encouraged by banking giant Goldman Sachs' (GS) stellar earnings report from this morning, and are so far reacting favorably to signs of another big stimulus package and faster vaccine distribution to come with the Biden administration. Janet Yellen, President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Treasury Secretary, is set appear before the Senate Finance Committee today in her confirmation speech and call for more stimulus to aid the economy 

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up over 200 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are both notably higher. Elsewhere, Biden has announced he will not lift the travel restrictions on most visitors from Europe, the U.K., and Brazil, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's orders to end the restrictions.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Vice President of Research Todd Salamone looks at small-cap stocks, and why they should be targeted.
  • Here are nine cannabis stocks that made headlines last week.
  • Plus, more on Goldman Sachs; a double upgrade for AXP; and Tesla presents first China-made Model Y crossover.

Futures Chart January 19

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.6 million call contracts traded on Friday, and 1.1 million put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.45 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.43. 
  2. Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) stock is up 2.4% in pre-market trading, after the finance giant reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and revenue. The equity was boosted by strong bond trading and underwriting performances. Year-to-date, GS has already added 14.1%.
  3. American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) received a double upgrade from J.P. Morgan Securities, and is up 1.5% before the open. The firm raised AXP's rating to "overweight" from "underweight," citing pent-up demand for leisure travel in the second half of the year as just one of the reasons. American Express stock is up 39.8% over the last nine months.
  4. The shares of Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are 1.7% higher in electronic trading, after presenting its first China-made Model Y crossover vehicle. The electric vehicle behemoth is also seeking more inroads in the China market. Tesla stock has added over 700% year-over-year.
  5. There is little on tap today, with no economic data set to be released.

OV buzz chart jan 19

European Stocks Flat Ahead of Yellen

Markets in Asia settled mostly higher on Tuesday, with the Hong Kong Hang Sang leading the gainers with a 2.7% pop, as financial giant HSBC, and insurance name AIA surged. Meanwhile, the country’s leader Carrie Lam extended social distancing measures amid a resurgence in coronavirus cases. The South Korean Kospi wasn’t far behind, rising 2.6%, while the Nikkei in Japan added 1.4%, and China’s Shanghai Composite dropped 0.8%.

Traders overseas are also eying Yellen’s confirmation speech today, and European markets are relatively flat ahead of the event, though the German DAX is seeing the most midday gains, up 0.3% after data from the ZEW economic research institute pointed better-than-expected economic sentiment. At last check, the London FTSE 100 is marginally higher and the French CAC 40 has risen 0.1%.

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