Dow Futures Looking to Finish the Week Strong

Bank stocks pointed higher after the Fed's buyback announcement

Deputy Editor
Mar 26, 2021 at 9:14 AM
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Stock futures are all over the place this morning, with futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) set to extend last night's gains -- eyeing a nearly 150-point pop in premarket trading -- while futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are pointed marginally higher. Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures, on the other hand, are slipping as the day points to more weakness out of the tech sector.

Investors are once again targeting stocks tied to the economic reopening, and bank stocks are also getting a boost after the Federal Reserve made an announcement that financial institutions could resume buyback programs and raise dividends by the end of June. On the economic data front, it looks like U.S. consumer spending saw a wider-than-expected drop last month, as winter weather ravaged most of the country, though this drop is thought to be short-lived. 

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

  • Options players took notice as Nike faced social media backlash in China. 
  • The freight stock poised for even more fresh highs, according to a historically bullish technical signal.  
  • Plus, Altria upgraded; NLY inches higher on billion-dollar sale; and NIO takes a hit amid semiconductor shortage. 

futures chart march 26 2021

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.81 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 1.05 million put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.58 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.47.
  2. Jefferies just upgraded tobacco producer Altria Group Inc (NYSE:MO) to "buy" from "hold," citing underappreciated reduced risk product (RPR) opportunities. MO is up 1.5% ahead of the bell in response. 
  3. Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY) is up 0.6% ahead of the open after the company entered an agreement to sell its commercial real estate arm to Slate Management in a $2.33 billion deal, which is expected to go into effect by the third quarter of this year. 
  4. The nationwide semiconductor shortage is effecting a slew of companies across several sectors. One of these companies is Nio Inc (NYSE:NIO). The electric automaker's stock is down 7.9% before the bell, after announcing the suspension of electric vehicle production in Hefei, China. The company also slashed its first-quarter delivery forecast to $19,500 vehicles from its previous forecast of $20,000 to $20,500. 
  5. An onslaught of economic data is due out today, including reports on personal income, consumer spending, core inflation, trade in goods and the consumer sentiment index. 

OV Buzz Chart March 26

Asian Markets Pop Amid Fed Comments Stateside 

After a shaky week, stocks in Asia closed Friday with a win. Mainland China and Japan notched the biggest wins, with the former receiving a significant bump following a joint electric vehicle deal between Xiaomi and Great Wall Motor. Elsewhere, U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments regarding recovery stateside helped boost stocks in the region. As a result, China’s Shanghai Composite, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, and Japan’s Nikkei all rose 1.6%, while South Korea’s Kospi rounded things out with a 1.1% jump.

European markets are higher as well, shaking off Covid-19 woes as investors put more focus on growth outlook and inflation. In addition, the blockage at the Suez Canal has oil prices under intense scrutiny, with the assumption it could take weeks to clear. At last check, the German DAX is up 0.7%, after the country’s Ifo Institute business climate index rose to 96.6, the highest investor sentiment in nearly two years. Rounding out the region, London’s FTSE 100 is also up 0.7%, while France’s CAC 40 has added 0.5%.

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