Stock Futures Muted as Jobless Claims, GDP Disappoint

Several Fed speakers will offer remarks today

Digital Content Manager
Aug 26, 2021 at 9:08 AM
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Stock futures are cooling off this morning, after all three major benchmarks scored big wins yesterday. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are eyeing a marginal pop, while futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are pointed slightly below breakeven. Traders are unpacking the latest round of jobless data, with initial claims for last week totaling 353,000, slightly higher than the 350,00 estimates. Elsewhere, a second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) reading came in below expectations at 6.6%, but was upwardly revised from the previously reported estimate. Looking ahead, the Fed's Jackson Hole symposium kicks off later today.

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

  • This retail stock is the right fit for options bulls.
  • Unpacking Catalent stock's pre-earnings record.
  • Plus, Ulta Beauty stock bubbling after earnings; Snowflake sales more than double; and Salesforce.com posts upbeat outlook.

Futures 0826

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.7 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 727,423 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.42 and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.53.
  2. Ulta Beauty Inc (NASDAQ:ULTA) is up 5.2% in electronic trading, after the cosmetics retailer reported blowout second-quarter earnings and revenue, while raising its full-year forecast. Ulta Beauty stock surged to an all-time high of $390.68 yesterday, and sports a 77.4% year-over-year lead prior to today.
  3. The shares of Snowflake Inc (NYSE:SNOW) are up 4% ahead of the bell, after the software company posted narrower-than-expected second-quarter losses and a revenue win. While the tech concern's overall losses are higher than a year ago, sales have more than doubled. Though Snowflake stock recently gapped lower down to the $250 level, the equity has added 17.4% quarter-to-date.
  4. Software concern Salesforce.com. (NYSE:CRM) is up 2.7% before the open. The firm's second-quarter earnings and revenue beat analysts' estimates, as more companies shift their applications to the cloud. The equity recently surged to its highest level since November, and is up 20.7% year-over-year.
  5. There market will be quiet for the rest of the day in terms of economic data.

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Asian Markets Drop Amid Rising Base Rates in China

Markets in Asia were mostly lower on Thursday, brushing off Wall Street’s stellar overnight performance. Mainland stocks were the culprit, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite each shedding 1.1%. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.6%, after the country’s central bank raised its base rate by 25 points to 0.75%, becoming the first major economy to hike interest rates during the pandemic. Rounding out the region, the Nikkei in Japan turned in a muted session, adding just 0.06%.

European stocks are lower as well, as all eyes shift toward the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Jackson Hole symposium that kicks off today and could shed light on economic tapering plans. Elsewhere, European Central Bank Chief Economist Philip Lane noted that the Delta Covid-19 variant is likely to have little impact on the euro zone, which remains on course for a big recovery through 2022. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 and France’s CAC 40 were both off by 0.2%. The German DAX, meanwhile, was last seen off by 0.5%, dragged down by consumer sentiment data that dipped in August.

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