Stock Futures Muted Despite Upbeat Jobless Claims

Weekly jobless claims hit a new pandemic low

Assistant Editor
Sep 9, 2021 at 9:10 AM
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Keeping up with the trend this week, stock futures are once again muted, as the Delta variant continues to impact the smoothness of the economy's reopening. In addition, the Federal Reserve released its latest "Beige Book," and noted that U.S. businesses are facing rising inflation amid a shortage of goods and downshifting economic growth.

At last check, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are down around 23 points, as the major benchmark looks to avoid fourth-straight daily dip, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are flat. Nevertheless, upbeat jobless claims could pare losses. According to the Labor Department, first-time filing for unemployment claims dropped to 310,000 last week, well below expectations and a new pandemic low.

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

  • Korn Ferry stock hits record high ahead of key event.
  • A comprehensive breakdown of the art of put selling.
  • Plus, GameStop's wider-than-expected loss; United Airlines slashes outlook; and Macy's bull note.

Futures Chart September 9

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 744,039 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.42 and the 21-day moving average moved down to 0.51.
  2. GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) stepped into the earnings confessional last night, reporting second-quarter losses of 76 cents per shares, which was wider than analysts anticipated. GameStop's revenue, meanwhile, beat estimates, after sales grew by more than 25%. At last check, GME is down 7.7% in electronic trading, but has a massive 955.2% year-to-date lead.
  3. Airline giant United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) is down 0.7% ahead of the open, after the airliner slashed its outlook due to rising Covid-19 cases. Other sector peers followed in the company's footsteps, issuing similar warnings. Over the last three months, United Airlines stock has shed 20%.
  4. The shares of Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) are up 1.3% before the open, after Cowen upgraded Macy's to "outperform" from "market perform," citing the retailer's superior inventory, pricing management, and better digital strategy. Heading into the session, Macy's stock was already up 88.7% in 2021.
  5. Beyond jobs data, there isn't much on the docket today.

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Asian Stocks Fall as Chinese Regulators Continue Tech Crackdown

Markets in Asia fell today, as China’s government continues to crack down on Hong Kong-listed tech stocks. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 2.3%, with Tencent and NetEase under pressure from state regulators once more. Education stocks also suffered, after China banned private tutors giving classes online or in unregistered venues. The Shanghai Composite added 0.5%, after China’s consumer price index (CPI) rose by a slimmer-than-expected margin. Rounding out the region, the South Korean Kospi shed 1.5% and Japan’s Nikkei finished down 0.6%.

Over in Europe, stocks are struggling for direction. The European Central Bank (ECB) kept its monetary policy unchanged, but vowed to curtail the rate of bond purchases. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 was down 1%, the French CAC 40 was 0.2% higher, and the German DAX was flat.

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