Stock Futures Pointed Higher to Start October

Congress passed a bill to keep the government funded through early December

Oct 1, 2021 at 9:22 AM
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Fresh off one of the worst months for Wall Street this year, stock futures are pointed higher to kick off October. The upbeat movement comes after blue-chip drugmaker Merck (MRK) announced its oral antiviral treatment for Covid19 reduced death and/or hospitalization, while the 10-year Treasury yield continued its retreat. In other news, the U.S. Senate and House both passed a short-term appropriations bill that would fund the government through Dec. 3. The bill is on its way to be signed by President Joe Biden. As a result, Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures were last seen up around 144 points, while futures on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures were just above breakeven.  

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

  • Virgin Galactic stock is cleared for flight.
  • U.S. Bancorp stock remains near record highs ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, more Merck's Covid-19 pill; Lordstown stock stays hot; and MGM nabs a bear note.

Futures Chart October 1

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.3 million call contracts traded on Thursday, compared to 802,263 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.58, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.50.
  2. Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK) stock is surging this morning, last seen up 7.7% in electronic trading, after a late stage study showed the company's Covid-19 pill cut the risk of death and hospitalization by 50%. The blue-chip drugmaker said its planning to file for emergency use authorization as soon as possible. Year-to-date, Merck stock is down 3.7%.
  3. Electric vehicle concern Lordstown Motors Corp (NASDAQ:RIDE) announced it struck a deal to sell its Ohio manufacturing plant to Taiwan-based Foxconn for $230 million. Foxconn is now set to take over manufacturing of Lordstown's full-sized electric pickup truck. The shares were last seen up 6.3% before the bell, though Lordstown Motors stock is down 69% year-over-year.
  4. The shares of MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) are up 0.3% ahead of the open, brushing off a downgrade from Susquehanna Financial. The firm downgraded MGM to "negative" from "neutral," citing DraftKing's' (DKNG) bid for British gambling company Entain as a possible hit on MGM's prospects in digital gaming and betting. Year-over-year, MGM Resorts stock is up 36.9%.
  5. Updates on real disposable income, real consumer spending, the Markit manufacturing PMI, and construction spending are on the docket today. In addition, the ISM manufacturing and final consumer sentiment indexes are due out. Lastly, core inflation and the final 5-year expected inflation rate updates will be released.

OV Buzz Chart Oct 1

European Markets Struggle After Inflation Reading

Asian markets were lower to round out the week, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed for a holiday, while China’s Shanghai Composite will be closed until Oct. 7 in observance of Golden Week. Japan’s Nikkei saw a 2.3% drop, despite the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) quarterly tankan business sentiment survey, which showed sentiment among the country’s largest manufacturers improved in comparison to the previous quarter. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi logged a 1.6% loss.

European markets are also mostly lower on Friday, after official data showed Euro zone inflation rose 3.4% on an annual basis in September, marking a 3% jump from August, and the highest reading since September 2008. Higher energy costs are mostly to blame, though shipping and production bottlenecks contributed to the surge, with durable goods prices up 2.3% from last month. Euro zone finance ministers are scheduled to discuss higher energy costs on Monday, while in Germany the conservative CDU-CSU bloc will hold coalition talks with the liberal Free Democrats (FDP) on Sunday, as they seek to form an alliance in hopes of establishing a coalition government. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 is 0.7% lower,  the German DAX is down 0.1%, and France’s CAC 40 is just above breakeven with a 0.03% gain.

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