Stock Futures Gain to Start Holiday-Shortened Week

The VIX breached the 20 level for the first time since February 2020

Assistant Editor
Feb 16, 2021 at 9:23 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are up over 100 points at last check, with S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures also looking to build on last week's gains. As we begin the holiday-shortened week, its also worth noting that Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Market Volatility Index (VIX), settled just below 20 on Friday, the first time it has breached this round level on a closing basis since February of 2020.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin crossed the $50,000 mark this morning, and 10-year treasury yields have hit 11-month highs. Investors are also eyeing data from the Empire State Manufacturing Index, which soared to a five-month high of 12.1 in February 2021, toppling analyst estimates and January's 3.5 figure.

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

  • Founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer offers an update on 2021's investor sentiment.    
  • A look at Kellogg stock after the company's earnings miss. 
  • Plus, CVS climbs after earnings; STZ brushes off a new legal battle; and AN rises after quarterly beat. 

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.4 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 0.41.
  2. CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) is up 1.5% before the bell, after the healthcare company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and sales. CVS also announced that they'd administered three million coronavirus vaccines, giving the equity a boost this quarter along with testing at their retail locations. Year-to-date, the stock is up 8.6%. 
  3. The shares of Constellation Brands (NYSE:STZ) are up 2.1% in electronic trading, despite a new legal battle regarding the Corona brand name. AB InBev (BUD) is suing the company over the use of the name for a hard seltzer, saying that they did not allow Constellation to use it for any products other than beer. On the charts, STZ is looking to extend last session's record high, a common occurrence this month
  4. AutoNation Inc (NYSE:AN) is up 2% ahead of the open this morning, after the company's fourth-quarter earnings and revenue beat. Furthermore, the company revealed a billion-dollar stock buyback plan, and the board elected Rick Burdick as its new chairman. Year-over-year, AN is up 63.8% coming into today's trading. 
  5. Today, no more economic data of note will be featured.   

Buzz Feb16

Europe Unpacks Economic Data

Asian markets were higher on Tuesday, though China’s Shanghai Composite remained closed for the Lunar New Year holiday. Leading the gainers was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which added 1.9% thanks to Alibaba Pictures and IMAX China, with both Chinese box offices setting revenue records. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.3%, and the South Korean Kospi was 0.5% higher.

European stocks are mostly flat, despite Euro zone gross domestic product (GDP) coming in better-than-expected for the fourth quarter, while employment grew 0.3%. Over in Germany, economic sentiment is also improving, surging to 71.2 points instead of the anticipated drop to 59.6 points. In other news, the World Health Organization (WHO) granted emergency use authorization to the AstraZeneca (AZN) Covid-19 vaccine with the University of Oxford. Nonetheless, the German DAX was last seen down 0.1%, while France’s CAC 40 is down 0.06%, and London’s FTSE 100 is 0.2% higher.

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