Stock Futures Enjoy Inauguration Day, Earnings Bump

Investors await more information on Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package

Assistant Editor
Jan 20, 2021 at 9:23 AM
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Today marks the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, and as a result stock futures are higher this morning. A slew of upbeat earnings reports released between last night and this morning are boosting investor sentiment, including FAANG name Netflix (NFLX), blue-chip Procter & Gamble (PG), and bank giant Morgan Stanley (MS).

As a result, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are over 100 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are both confidently above breakeven as well. Looking ahead, investors are awaiting additional information regarding Biden's $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan, which calls for $1,400 direct payments to most Americans, as well as additional unemployment benefits and state and local government aid.

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

  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White puts this sentiment indicator to the test.
  • Annual highs for Travelers stock before earnings.
  • Plus, Alibaba's founder reappeared; PSO sees sales optimism; and Disney cut bonuses to top executives.

Futures Chart January 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.3 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, and 862,030 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.37 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.43. 
  2. Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) stock is up 6.5% in pre-market trading, after thee-commerce giant's founder Jack Ma reappeared in public for the first time in nearly three months. Questions had arisen about Ma's whereabouts after he criticized China's financial regulator, and was keeping a low profile ever since. Year-over-year, BABA is up 10.7%.
  3. The shares of educational publishing concern Pearson PLC (NYSE:PSO) are up 5.8% ahead of the open, despite reported a 10% drop in sales during 2020. The company said sales trends improved in the fourth quarter thanks to online learnings growth. The equity has added 34.3% in the last nine months.
  4. Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) announced it will eliminate bonuses for top executives for 2020, thanks to the toll the pandemic took which impacted earnings. Disney stock is up 2.6% in electronic trading today, and is down nearly 5% in 2021.
  5. Investors will be equal parts anxious and excited, with Joe Biden's inauguration into the White House taking place. In addition, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) index data will be reported.

OV Buzz Chart Jan 20

European Markets React to Biden's Inauguration

It was a mixed day for Asian markets on Wednesday. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong boasted the most impressive gains, adding 1.1% following the online reappearance of Alibaba founder Jack Ma. The South Korean Kospi trailed behind with a 0.7% pop, buoyed by Kia Motors, which is considering electric vehicle projects with several firms. Meanwhile, China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.5% after the country’s one- and five-year prime rate (LPR) remained the same. Elsewhere, the Nikkei in Japan lost 0.4%.

European investors will be watching President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration today, and markets are mixed ahead of the event. The FTSE 100 in London is down 0.06% after U.K. inflation doubled in December, even with lockdown restrictions in place. The French CAC 40 is up 0.2%, on the other hand, while the German DAX is 0.5% higher.

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