Stock Futures Plummet as Wall Street's Caution Ramps Up

The Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting kicks off this week

Sep 20, 2021 at 9:16 AM
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Stock futures are decisively lower this morning, heading for a massive selloff to start the week. Wall Street panic is stemming from a plunge in financial markets in China, the Federal Reserve's upcoming two-day meeting -- which could signal the removal of monetary stimulus -- and rising Covid-19 cases. Oil prices and the 10-Year Treasury yield are also sliding. 

At last check, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) were down nearly 650 points, while S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures were also swimming in red ink. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), surged ahead of the open, jumping above the 26 level for the first time since May.

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

  • Rumored merger talks helped Invesco stock to a win.
  • Can this designer stock buck its bearish run?
  • Plus, Pfizer's vaccine update; AstraZeneca's upbeat breast cancer trial; and Colgate-Palmolive stock's bull note.

Futures Chart September 20

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2.2 million call contracts traded on Friday, compared to over 1.2 million put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.56, and the 21-day moving average moved up to 0.51.
  2. The shares of Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) are down 1.5% ahead of the open, despite upbeat trial data that showed the company's Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective for children ages 5 to 11. Pfizer, along with co-manufacturer BioNTech (BNTX), plan to submit the results for approval "as soon as possible." Year-to-date, PFE is up 19.2%.
  3. Meanwhile, former vaccine frontrunner AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ:AZN) is up 1.7% in electronic trading, after the U.K.-based pharmaceutical concern announced Enhertu, its breast cancer drug, reduced disease progression or death by 72% following a phase-three trial. AstraZeneca stock has added 11.1% in 2021.
  4. Deutsche Bank yesterday upgraded Colgate-Palmolive Company (NYSE:CL) to "buy" from "hold," after the firm said Colgate's struggles with inflation and overseas markets were already factored into stock performance. Still, year-to-date, Colgate-Palmolive stock is down 10.9%.
  5. Today brings the NAHB index.

OV Buzz Chart Sept 20

China's Evergrande Group's Sell-Off Drags Down Overseas Equities

Trading was quiet in Asia on Monday, with China’s Shanghai Composite, Japan’s Nikkei, and South Korea’s Kospi all closed for holidays. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was open however, and dropped 3.3%. Hurting the index was real estate name China Evergrande Group’s extended plummet, as well as the Hang Seng Properties index, which fell to a 52-week low.

Evergrande’s negative price action is impacting European markets, too, sending them lower. Investors are also eyeing the Federal Reserve’s September meeting, which starts tomorrow and may offer clues on the tapering of economic stimulus. The German DAX was last seen down 2.6%, France’s CAC 40 is down 2.5%, and London’s FTSE 100 is down 1.6%.


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