Stock Futures Plummet Despite Upbeat Jobless Data

The Federal Reserve's July minutes are weighing on investor sentiment

Digital Content Manager
Aug 19, 2021 at 9:20 AM
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Stock futures are pointed sharply lower this morning, after the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes stoked fears among investors that officials could remove stimulus by the end of the year, even as the economy slows down again amid the fast-spreading delta variant. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are staring at a 309-point drop, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are also firmly in the red.

The latest unemployment figures may offer a glimpse of hope, however. Weekly jobless claims hit a new pandemic low, totaling 348,000 last week, as opposed to the 365,000 Wall Street anticipated. Numbers have not been this low since March 2020, when Covid-19 began to take hold of the U.S. economy.

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

  • Options traders blasted this tumbling semiconductor stock.
  • Foot Locker stock could be a dividend play.
  • Plus, Macy's stock bucking broad market selloff; Toyota cutting production; and unpacking NVDA's earnings beat.

Futures 0819

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.5 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 823,505 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.52 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.53.
  2. Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) stock is up 4.2% in electronic trading, after the retailer reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue. The company attributed the results to an increase in comparable-store sales, which led it to hike its annual revenue forecast. To boot, Macy's announced the reinstatement of dividends and a share buyback program. Macy's stock boasts a 175.9% year-over-year lead.
  3. The shares of Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) were last seen down 3.1% ahead of the bell, after the Japan's Nikkei News Service reported the automaker would cut its production by 40% in September, as a result of the ongoing chip shortage. TM has cooled off from an Aug. 3, all-time high of $185.99, but is up 29.1% in the past 12 months.
  4. Semiconductor stock NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) is up 1.3% before the open, after reporting a second-quarter earnings and revenue beat. The chipmaker also posted a current-quarter revenue forecast was well above analysts' estimates. Year-over-year, NVDA is up 55.3%.
  5. The Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, and the index of leading economic indicators for July are also due out today.

OV Buzz Aug 19

European, Asian Markets Drop Amid Global Selloff

Asian stocks finished lower across the board today, with the Hang Seng in Hong Kong losing 2.1% after shares of tech giants Alibaba (BABA) and Tencent (TME) both pulled back considerably. Meanwhile, Japan’s Nikkei fell 1.1% after major automakers in the country, including Toyota (TM), Honda (HM), and Nissan, all shed at least 2.6%. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi retreated 1.9%, while China’s Shanghai Composite rounded out the region with a 0.6% dip.

European markets are joining the global selloff this afternoon, dragged down following the release of the Fed’s July minutes. The central bank discussed removing monetary stimulus before the end of 2021, though officials noted this doesn’t necessarily mean an imminent rate increase. At last check, France’s CAC 40 was 2.6% lower, London’s FTSE 100 was down 1.9%, and the DAX in Germany sported a 1.8% deficit.

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