Dow Futures Fall as Tech Continues to Struggle

Jobless claims fell to their lowest level in the pandemic era

Deputy Editor
May 20, 2021 at 9:09 AM
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More weakness in tech shares is dragging down stock futures once again, following a rollercoaster session on Wall Street triggered by Bitcoin's selloff -- which fell as much as 30% at one point yesterday. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures were last seen off by nearly 60 points, on pace to log its fourth-straight day of losses. Meanwhile S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are hovering near or just above breakeven, as investors shift their focus to weekly jobless claims data, which showed first-time claims for unemployment benefits totaled a new pandemic-era low of 444,000 versus the 452,000 estimates.

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

  • C-suite comments have TSN aiming for new highs.
  • Baker Hughes declares quarterly dividend. 
  • Plus, Virgin Galactic stock soars on upcoming flight; Kohl's brushes off upbeat results; and CSCO dips on weak guidance. 

Futures Chart May 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.1 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 678,675 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.58 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.52.
  2. Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE) is surging ahead of the bell, up 18.1% after announcing its next test flight. The space travel company's SpaceShipTwo Unity is set to soar Saturday, May 22, following the completion of a maintenance review of SpaceShipTwo Unity's mothership VMS Eve. Today's price action should help SPCE reclaim some of its 27.2% year-to-date deficit. 
  3. The shares of Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS) are down 6.6% before the open, despite reporting earnings of $1.05 per share -- well above Wall Street's 4 cent forecast. Revenue also sailed past analysts estimates, leading the retailer to hike its full-year forecast. Most likely disappointing investors is the equity's lackluster sales forecast. Year-over-year, KSS boasts an incredible 246.7% lead.
  4. Networking equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc (NASDAQ:CSCO), meanwhile, squeaked by on earnings, beating estimates by a penny. Revenue also came in above Wall Street's forecasts, though Cisco responded with a weaker-than-expected current-quarter guidance, as chain challenges are put pressure on profit margins. Down 5.5% in electronic trading, CSCO still sports a 17.3% rise for 2021.
  5. Today, investors have the Philadelphia Fed Manufacturing Index and leading economic indicators to look forward to.


European Stocks Brush Off Bitcoin's Plunge

Asian markets were mixed on Wednesday, after fresh data out of Japan showed a better-than-expected 38% jump in exports year-over-year. In turn, Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2%. Meanwhile, China kept its one-year loan prime rate (LPR) at 3.85% for May, and also maintained it’s five-year LPR at 4.65%. This resulted in a 0.5% drop for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, while Shanghai’s Composite fell 0.1%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi shaved 0.3%.

European markets were higher, on the other hand, brushing off bitcoin’s massive plunge and the latest Federal Reserve update in the U.S. They are still keeping a close eye on stateside jobless data, though, and monitoring corporate earnings reports from the giants such as EasyJet, Royal Mail, and Manchester United. At last check, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.8%, while the German DAX and London’s FTSE 100 have added 0.7% and 0.3%, respectively.


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