Stock Futures Dip Into the Red Ahead of Fed Minutes

The minutes could give clues as to the central bank's next steps

Digital Content Manager
Aug 18, 2021 at 9:26 AM
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Stock futures are pointed lower this morning, as investors look toward the release of the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes, due out later today, which could hint at the central bank's next steps. The 10-year Treasury yield inched higher in response, last seen up 1.28%, amid growing support among the Fed to taper off bond purchases starting in October. Futures on both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are lower, after the two benchmarks yesterday snapped their five-day win streaks. Meanwhile, futures on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also below breakeven.

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

  • This chip stock cooled ahead of today's earnings report.
  • How defined outcome ETFs differ from standard options.
  • Plus, Target stock brushes off earnings win; Tilray pens deal with U.S.-based company; and unpacking Lowe's beat-and-raise.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.6 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 952,493 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.58 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.53.
  2. Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT) is down 1.7% in electronic trading, despite the retail giant reporting a second-quarter earnings and revenue beat. The company attributed the strong results to a better-than-expected 8.9% jump in comparable store sales. The security has been cooling off from its Aug. 11, record high of $267.06, though it still boasts an 84.2% year-over-year lead.
  3. The shares of Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) are surging ahead of the bell, last seen up 8.8%, after the cannabis name said it would buy $166 million in convertible debt from MedMen Enterprises. The deal could boost Tilray when U.S. regulations change, as Canada-based companies are not yet allowed to own U.S. weed businesses. The security has been trending lower since February, but remains up 85.8% year-over-year.
  4. Home improvement name Lowe`s Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW) is up 4.5% before the open, after it posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue. To boot, the company raised its full-year financial forecast, thanks to an increase in spending by builders. Shares yesterday pulled back to the $182 level, but have added 15.1% over the past nine months.
  5. Today will feature building permits and housing starts data. Plus, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes will be released later this afternoon. 

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European Markets Lower Following U.K. Inflation Data

Markets in Asia pared yesterday’s losses, led by China’s Shanghai Composite, which added 1.1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei tacked on 0.6%, after a local news agency reported the country’s government decided to extend the Covid-19 state of emergency in the area until Sept. 12. Rounding out the region, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi each eked out a 0.5% gain.

European stocks, meanwhile, are in the red this afternoon, although U.K. inflation data unexpectedly fell to 2% in July. Nevertheless, anxiety looms surrounding the potential geopolitical implications of the Taliban’s seizure of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, while Covid-19 Delta variant cases continue to tick higher. As a result, France’s CAC 40 is down 0.4%, London’s FTSE 100 is 0.3% lower, the German DAX is off a paltry 0.04%.

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