Stock Futures Fall as Profit-Taking Grips Reopening Economy

Stocks tied to the reopening of the economy are taking a hit this morning

Deputy Editor
Mar 23, 2021 at 9:28 AM
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Stock futures are marking the one-year anniversary of the bull market on a low note, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) pointed roughly 120 points lower, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures are eyeing a modest loss, dragged down by stocks tied to the economic reopening amid a bout of profit-taking. Futures on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX), meanwhile, are flat, as the 10-year Treasury yield continues to retreat. News that AstraZeneca's (AZN) Covid-19 vaccine update may have included outdated information is also putting a damper on stock futures this morning, while cases continue to rise in 21 states. 

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

  • There's plenty of reasons to love Big Lots stock right now. 
  • The bank stock getting blasted by options traders after its latest bounce. 
  • Plus, MSFT in talks to buy Discord; Baidu stock makes Hong Kong debut; and DISCA downgraded by UBS. 

Futures Chart March 23 2021

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.65 million call contracts traded on Monday, and 641,217 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.39 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.46.
  2. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is trading roughly 0.3% higher before the open, amid reports that the tech giant is in talks to buy videogame chat company Discord in a roughly $10 billion deal. However, some are speculating that the gaming concern is more inclined to go public than to sell. 
  3. The U.S.-listed shares of China-based tech company Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) are down 2.9% before the bell, following its first day on the Hong Kong stock exchange with a secondary listing that wound up raising $3.1 billion. 
  4. The shares of media name Discovery Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:DISCA) are down 4.6% in premarket trading, following a downgrade from UBS to "sell" from "neutral." The analyst noted challenges in the company's risk/reward profile, as well as overblown valuation. 
  5. Today's economic calendar will bring new home sales data.

OV Buzz Chart March 23

Spiking Covid-19 Infections Sink European Stocks

Stocks in Asia closed lower today, with mainland stocks seeing a particularly underwhelming day after tech name Baidu (BIDU) made its debut in Hong Kong. The U.S.-listed, Chinese search engine’s lackluster debut saw the shares go relatively unchanged from their issue price. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite tumbled 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively. Meanwhile, a decline in tech stocks Softbank and LG Electronics took a toll on both Japan’s Nikkei and South Korea’s Kospi, which lost 0.6% and 1%, respectively.

European markets are pointing lower, as well, with investor sentiment  taking a hit amid a third wave of Covid-19 infections. France is implementing new lockdown measures, while German officials ponder the possible extension of its own measures. Meanwhile, today officially marks the one-year anniversary of the U.K.’s first lockdown. At last check, France’s CAC 40 is down 0.3%, London’s FTSE 100 is off 0.2%, and the German DAX has shed 0.07%.

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