Stock Futures Sink as Tech Extends Selloff

All three benchmarks are on track for weekly losses

Deputy Editor
Dec 17, 2021 at 9:21 AM
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Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are down triple digits this morning, as yesterday's tech selloff continues. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is sinking lower as well, while all three benchmarks are on track for weekly losses. Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci announced that changing the definition of fully vaccinated was "on the table," and said that the best protection against Covid-19 was either Pfizer (PFE) or Moderna's (MRNA) vaccines and booster shots. 

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

  • Nucor stock could soon stage a bounce.  
  • Everything you need to know about put spreads
  • Plus, FDX climbs after earnings; AFRM falls on new inquiry; and DRI drops after CEO news. 

Futures Dec17

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.7 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 943,564 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio dropped to 0.55, and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.49.
  2. FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX) is up 4.9% before the bell, after the company's strong fiscal second-quarter report. In response, no fewer than five analysts lifted their price targets, with the highest from Stephens to $345. Coming into today, the equity is down 8.1% year-to-date. 
  3. Affirm Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:AFRM) is down 3.8% pre-market, after news that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is launching an inquiry into firms with "buy now, pay later" plans. In the last month, AFRM has lost 34.4%. 
  4. Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants Inc (NYSE:DRI) is down 3.5% in electronic trading, despite upbeat fiscal second-quarter results, after news that CEO Eugene Lee will retire in May 2022. Plus, the company's full-year forecast came in below expectations. 
  5. There is no economic data of note today.   

Markets Unpack Global Bank Decisions

Asian markets settled mostly lower on Friday, with the exception of the South Korean Kospi, which rose 0.4%. A number of updates from central banks around the globe weighed on stocks, including the Bank of Japan’s (BoJ) plan to ease its emergency funding, while maintaining a dovish monetary policy. In response, the Nikkei in Japan fell 1.8%, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.2%, and the Hong Kong Hang Seng took a 1.2% haircut, with the lattermost getting knocked down by weakness in tech.

European markets are also feeling the weight of central bank decisions from the European Central Bank (ECB), which continued to taper its bond buying program but promised to maintain its loose monetary policy. Meanwhile, the Bank of England (BoE) said it would hike interest rates for the first time since the pandemic began, amid red-hot inflation and a strong labor market. Concerns over the omicron variant are also taking their toll on markets midday, putting the French CAC 40 and the London FTSE 100 at a 1.4% and 0.1% deficit, respectively. The German DAX is falling too, last seen off 1.4%, while investors eye the country’s Ifo Institute business climate index dropping below expectations to 94.7 in November.


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