Stock Futures Inch Lower, Benchmarks Eye Monthly Wins

America's longest war has finally come to an end

Digital Content Manager
Aug 31, 2021 at 9:21 AM
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Stock futures are just below breakeven this morning, as the major benchmarks look to wrap up the month of August with gains. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are pointed slightly lower, though both indexes are eyeing wins for the month. And while S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures are inching lower as well, the latter is looking to score its seventh-straight monthly gain, while standing at record levels. Elsewhere, investors are sighing with relief as America's longest war comes to an end, after the Pentagon announced the U.S. completed evacuation efforts at Kabul airport.

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

  • Retail traders squeeze heavily shorted stock.
  • Watch these key SPX levels after last week's Fed update.
  • Plus, Zoom brushes off quarterly win; Virgin Galactic scores fresh analyst coverage; Textron upgraded on jet demand.

Futures 0831

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.9 million call contracts traded on Monday, compared to 820,023 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.42 and the 21-day moving average dropped to 0.52.
  2. Zoom Video Communications Inc (NASDAQ:ZM) is plummeting today, last seen down 12.7% in electronic trading, despite the tech concern beating second-quarter earnings and revenue estimates, with the latter crossing the $1 billion for the first time. Weighing on the company is slower growth rates, which fell from pandemic levels. The equity has seen some volatility over the past 12 months, and shed 27.4% in the past nine months. 
  3. The shares of Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (NYSE:SPCE) are up 3.1% ahead of the bell, after Jefferies initiated coverage of the security with a "buy" rating. The firm noted growing demand for the space travel concern, and added it expects increased capacity. Shares have been cooling off from a June rally to the $47 mark, but remain up  42.5% year-over-year.
  4. Industrial conglomerate Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) is up 1.7% before the open, after the security received an upgrade to "outperform" from "market perform" from Cowen and Company. The analyst in coverage noted substantial jet demand, in addition to opportunities in the electric helicopter sector. The equity just hit an Aug. 12, record high of $74.79 and sports a roughly 80% year-over-year lead.
  5. Today brings the Case-Shiller home price index and the consumer confidence index. Plus, the year-over-year Chicago purchasing managers' index (PMI) is due.


Asian Markets Brush off Lackluster Factory Data

Stocks in Asia were higher today, shaking off lackluster factory activity data for August. The official non-manufacturing PMI finished at 47.5, its lowest reading since early 2020 and signaling a contraction in the country’s economy. Meanwhile, tech stocks in the area pulled back considerably, after China’s National Press and Publication Administration revealed plans to limit children under 18 years to just three hours of a video games a week. Nevertheless, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong rose 1.3%, while China’s Shanghai Composite notched a 0.5% win. Rounding out the region, South Korea’s Kospi and Japan’s Nikkei popped 1.8% and 1.1%, respectively.

Over in Europe, markets are a little more quiet, as investors react to economic data in the region and abroad. Euro zone inflation data for August showed consumer prices increased by 3% year-over-year, an added blow after economic sentiment data from Monday confirmed optimism tumbled from July’s record highs. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 was down 0.5%, France’s CAC 40 was off by 0.2%, and the German DAX has shed 0.1%.


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