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Stock Futures Taking a Breather on Expiration Day

The S&P 500 is on track for its best week since 2020

Deputy Editor
Mar 18, 2022 at 9:25 AM
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Stock futures are lower before the open this morning ahead of standard expiration day, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) down triple digits. Still, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is on track for its best weekly win since November of 2020 after its three-day rally, while the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) tries for its best week since February 2021. Meanwhile, reports came that Russia made a $117 million bond payment on Thursday, though it is unclear whether they will be able to continue to keep up with their external debt amid sanctions. 

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

  • Live Nation Entertainment Stock is flashing a bull signal
  • 10 ways to win in March Madness and options trading. 
  • Plus, X and FDX lower after quarterly reports; and RENT receives fresh coverage.  

Futures March18

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw over 1.4 million call contracts traded on Thursday, and 809,169 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio stayed at 0.56, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.57.
  2. United States Steel Corp (NYSE:X) is down 2.8% ahead of the open, after the company's 2022 outlook fell short of expectations. The steel name expects seasonal mining headwinds, as well as pressure from the high cost of raw materials. Coming off a three-year high, X is up 45.1% year-to-date. 
  3. FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX) is down 3.2% before the bell, after the company's mixed fiscal third-quarter report showed an earnings miss and revenue beat. To follow, no fewer than four analysts cut their price targets, including Citigroup to $270 from $300. Year-over-year, the equity is down 14.2%. 
  4. Rent the Runway Inc (NASDAQ:RENT) is up 4.1% in electronic trading, after Jefferies initiated coverage with a "buy" rating and $13 price target. Year-to-date, RENT is down 30.6%. 
  5. Today will bring existing home sales and the index of leading economic indicators.

OV Buzz Chart March 18 

European Markets Slide

Asian markets were mostly higher on Friday, after the Bank of Japan (BoJ) said it would not change interest rates yet, noting “extremely high uncertainties” in Ukraine. Investors were also eyeing a meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping to address competition between the U.S. and China, as well as the Russia-Ukraine war. Leading the gainers today was China’s Shanghai Composite with a 1.1% pop, followed by Japan’s Nikkei’s 0.7% gain. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi settled 0.5% higher, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.4% lower. The latter still scored a weekly win, snapping a four-week losing streak despite the volatility it faced in the last few days.

Meanwhile, European markets are pointed firmly lower, as Russia continues to bombard Ukraine, despite four days of peace talks. Investors are worried the lack of progress may spark more severe sanctions against Russia, as commodity prices surge once again and supply chain challenges persist. At last check, the German DAX is down 1.5%, France’s CAC 40 is 1.3% lower, and London’s FTSE 100 is eyeing a 0.5% loss.



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