Stock Futures Lower as Wall Street Remains Cautious

It's quadruple witching Friday later today

Sep 17, 2021 at 9:17 AM
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Stock futures are set to open Friday's session lower, as Wall Street continues to err on the side of caution in September. Rising Covid-19 cases, next week's Federal Reserve meeting, and a historically dismal trading season are all weighing on investors. At last check, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI)S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are all slightly below breakeven. It could get particularly hairy today, too, with quadruple witching at the close.

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

  • Sector pressure is weighing on this natural gas stock.
  • Buy the dip on Walmart stock's latest pullback.
  • Plus, Take-Two stock downgraded; Eli Lilly's Covid-19 treatment update; and U.S. Steel's new mill plans.

Futures Chart September 17

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.6 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 808,975 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio stayed at 0.49 and the 21-day moving average fell to 0.50.
  2. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc (NASDAQ:TTWO) is down 1.2% ahead of the open, after BMO Capital downgraded the video game stock to "market perform" from "outperform" while trimming its price target to $150. The firm is less sure about Take-Two's upcoming earnings after a string of video game release delays. Year-to-date, Take-Two stock is down 26.9%.
  3. Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY) just had its emergency use authorization expanded for its Covid-19 treatment, after winning approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means patients at high risk of infection can now use Eli Lilly's treatment. LLY was last seen down 0.1% in electronic trading, but boasts a 53% year-over-year lead.
  4. As the demand for steel explodes in the U.S., United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X) announced plans to build a new steel mill. Construction is slated to begin next year, while production is slated for 2024. Despite the news, United States Steel stock was last seen 2% lower before the opening bell. Meanwhile, steel prices have nearly quadrupled year-over-year, a time in which X has tacked on 227.2%.
  5. The University of Michigan will release its preliminary consumer sentiment index today.

OV Buzz Sept 17

Euro Zone Inflation Hits 10-Year High

Asian markets were mostly higher to close out the week, despite concerns surrounding real estate giant China Evergrande Group’s debt problems. Leading the gainers was Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which added roughly 1%, followed by a 0.6% pop for the Nikkei in Japan. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi and China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively.

Meanwhile, European markets are quietly lower at midday, after new data showed Euro zone inflation hit a 10-year high in August. Investors are also digesting a surprise drop in U.K. retail sales data last month, marking its longest losing streak on record. At last check, the German DAX is 0.5% lower, France’s CAC 40 is down 0.1%, and London’s FTSE 100 is slightly below breakeven, with a 0.05% loss.

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