Stock Futures Muted as Delta Variant Fears Ease

Covid-19 cases in Texas and Florida are declining

Digital Content Manager
Aug 25, 2021 at 8:59 AM
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Stock futures are muted this morning, despite the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) logging its second-straight record close yesterday, as traders continued to react positively to Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech's (BNTX) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Covid-19 vaccine approval. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are slightly above breakeven, while futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are flat as well. Boosting investor sentiment today are signs that the delta variant may have reached its peak, as new infections in Florida and Texas plummet.

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

  • Why options bears are targeting Carvana stock.
  • Schaeffer's Senior Quantitative Analyst Rocky White dives into what's next for oil
  • Plus, unpacking JNJ's Covid-19 vaccine update; Urban Outfitters faces supply chain issues; and Nordstrom stock brushes off an earnings beat.

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.9 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 755,280 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.39 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.53.
  2. Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is up 0.5% in electronic trading, after early-stage trial data showed a booster shot of its coronavirus vaccine dramatically increased antibodies. The security just hit a record high of $179.92 on Aug. 20 and now sports a 15.3% year-over-year lead.
  3. The shares of Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN) are down 4.9% ahead of the bell, despite the apparel retailer beating Wall Street's second-quarter earnings and revenue estimates. Though the company saw a surge in digital sales, it is now facing supply chain issues. Overhead pressure at the $41-$42 mark has kept a tight lid on the equity since March, yet year-over-year URBN remains up 100.5%.
  4. Luxury retailer Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN) is plummeting today, down 11.4% before the open. While the company posted better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, its revenue is still below pre-pandemic levels. However, the department store giant did raise its full-year guidance. The security has seen volatility on the charts over the past 12 months, but has added 142.8% year-over-year.
  5. Durable and nondefense capital goods orders are due out today.

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European Markets Flat Ahead of U.S. Fed Comments

Stocks in Asia closed mixed, paring earlier gains after the cybersecurity regulator in China clarified that companies wishing to go public must comply with two main aspects of a wider set of regulations. Specifically, companies must comply with the national laws and regulations, and also ensure the security of the national network, “critical information infrastructure,” and personal data. Still, the approval of a Covid-19 vaccine by the FDA is keeping investors pessimism in check. In response, China’s Shanghai Composite tacked on 0.7%, while South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.1%, and Japan’s Nikkei dipped a paltry 0.03%.

Over in Europe markets are more muted, as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Jackson Holy symposium, which could shed light on the central bank’s plans for economic tapering. Meanwhile, in the U.K. there was a sharp increase in retail spending, the reading hitting its highest level in seven years, while inventory levels fell to their lowest on record. In Germany, the Ifo Institute’s business climate index posted a disappointing 99.4, short of analyst estimates.  At last check, London’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 were each 0.1% higher, while the German DAX was off by 0.2%.

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