Stock Futures Get a Boost From President Biden's First Day

Jobless claims came in lower than expected, though

Assistant Editor
Jan 21, 2021 at 9:21 AM
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Stock futures are higher once again this morning, ready to build off record-high closes yesterday in the wake of the inauguration of U.S. President Joe Biden. On his first day in office, President Biden expanded on the details of his Covid-19 plan, including the use of the Defense Production Act. He also rolled back a number of Donald Trump's policies -- including the controversial Muslim ban -- through a series of executive orders.

At last check, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are modestly higher, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are both hovering above breakeven as well. Elsewhere, weekly jobless claims came in at 900,000, just below economists' estimates of 925,000.

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

  • This retail stock is one of our top picks for 2021.
  • There's a lot to love about KB Home stock.
  • Plus, KeyCorp scores earnings beat; Travelers ready to scale Dow; and SolarEdge stock upgraded.

Futures Chart January 21

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.2 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 896,151 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.44 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.43. 
  2. KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) stock is up 1.2% in pre-market trading, after the banking giant reported better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings and revenue. A strong growth in fees was chalked up to the consumer mortgage and investment banking arms. Already in 2021, KEY is up 11.5%.
  3. The shares of Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) are up 2.1% in electronic trading, after the blue-chip insurance company reported a fourth quarter earnings beat, with the company benefiting from less catastrophe claims amid the pandemic. Revenue was in line with analysts' estimates, and the Travelers saw a record-breaking 8.4% rise in renewal premiums and underwriting results. Over the last nine months, TRV is up 42.5%.
  4. SolarEdge Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:SEDG) was rated "overweight" by Morgan Stanley, resulting in a 3.3% bump ahead of the open. The firm said SolarEdge is set to quickly benefit in a fast-growing market. Year-over-year, SEDG has tacked on 176.4%.
  5. In addition to the jobless claims that just came out, housing starts, building permits, and the latest Philadelphia Federal Reserve Manufacturing index are on tap today.

OV Buzz Chart Jan 21

Overseas Markets React to Biden's Inauguration 

Asian markets were mostly higher on Thursday as investors eyed President Biden’s inauguration. The Shanghai Composite in China and the Kospi in South Korea added 1.1% and 1.5%, respectively. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.8% after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) maintained a steady monetary policy -- a move that was widely anticipated. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong was the single loser in the region, dropping 0.1%.

In Europe, markets are mixed at the midway mark, with many investors expecting smoother seas after four years of tumult under former President Donald Trump. In other news, the European Central Bank (ECB) left its interest rates unchanged for the time being, though it announced it would be prepared to act quickly, as Covid-19 cases and lockdown restrictions sweep the region. So far, the London FTSE 100 is up 0.1%, the German DAX is 0.3% higher, and the French CAC 40 is off 0.4%.

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