Dow Futures Eye Triple-Digit Tumble as Bond Yields Weigh

Jobless claims hit a new pandemic-era low

Deputy Editor
Jul 15, 2021 at 9:23 AM
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Even with the roll out of better-than-expected earnings reports from the financial sector, stocks are pointed lower this morning. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is eyeing a 150-point drop, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is sitting firmly in the red and the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) is struggling for direction. The recent pullback for bond yields is sparking some of Wall Street's anxiety, as many are worried about what the move means for a speedy global economic recovery. Meanwhile, this week's jobless claims came in at 360,000, marking a new pandemic-era low and falling in line with expectations.

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

  • What options players were pricing in for UNH ahead of earnings. 
  • Steel stock that's a good long-term bet for bulls. 
  • Plus, AIG surges on Blackstone sale; NLOK in buyout talks; and JNJ's sunscreen recall. 

futures chart july 15 2021

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.9 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 971,053 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.49 and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.47.
  2. American International Group Inc (NYSE:AIG) announced today that it will sell 9.9% of its stake in its life insurance unit to Blackstone (BX) $2.2 billion. The deal stipulates that Blackstone will manage an initial $50 billion in assets for AIG's life insurance policies, which is expected to rise to roughly $100 billion in the next six years. AIG was last seen up 5.3% in pre-market trading and 50% higher year-over-year.
  3. News that Norton LifeLock Inc (NASDAQ:NLOK) is considering buying sector peer Avast in a potential cash-and-stock deal is sinking the software security stock this morning, last seen down 1.5%. The equity saw an extremely volatile day yesterday, coming within striking distance of its mid-June record peak, eventually settling with a sharp loss. NLOK is still up roughly 29% in 2021, however. 
  4. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is down 0.8% in electronic trading, following news that the company recalled some batches of its Aveeno and Neutrogena spray sunscreens, after benzene -- a cancer-causing agent -- was discovered in a few samples. JNJ is up 15% year-over-year, with recent support at the 10-day moving average pushing the stock higher. 

  5. Thursday's calendar will be packed with activity, including a monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), data on import and export prices for June, the Empire state manufacturing index, the Philly Fed manufacturing index, and industrial production data. 

OV Buzz Chart July 15

Chinese Economic Data Gives Asian Markets a Boost 

Markets in Asia were mostly higher today, as investors digested a slew of economic data out of China. The country's gross domestic product (GDP) rose 7.9% year-over-year in the second quarter, which is slightly lower than the expected 8.1%. Plus, retail sales surged 12.1% year-over-year in June, while industrial output added 8.3% year-over-year for the same month. In response, China's Shanghai Composite led the winners with a 1% win. Elsewhere, the Nikkei in Japan lost 1.2%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.8%, and the South Korean Kospi posted a 0.7% pop, after the Bank of Korea announced that it was leaving the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.5%.

Meanwhile, European markets are lower midday, as U.S. and U.K. inflation data continue to weigh, as well as rising Covid-19 cases. The French CAC 40 is down 0.9% at last check, the German DAX is off 1.1%, and London's FTSE 100 has shed 0.8%, after U.K. flash employment figures showed a 1.9% year-over-year rise in May. 

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