Stocks Inch Higher, Economic Indicators in Focus

Initial weekly jobless claims were in line with analyst estimates

Deputy Editor
Aug 4, 2022 at 9:17 AM
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All three major indexes are tentatively higher ahead of the open, as investors unpack a flood of corporate earnings reports. Though Wall Street is anxiously awaiting tomorrow's nonfarm payrolls data, there is plenty of economic data to unpack today. Initial weekly jobless claims for last week rose by 6,000 to 260,000, which was in line with analyst estimates, and the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services narrowed by over 6% in June. 

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

  • Why Robinhood stock surged yesterday. 
  • Checking in with Dropbox stock ahead of earnings
  • Plus, LLY slashes forecast; BABA brushed off flat revenue; and supply chain issues weigh on TM.

Futures Chart August 4

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.5 million call contracts traded on Wednesday, and 874,867 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.56, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.68.
  2. Eli Lilly & Co (NYSE:LLY) is down 1.9% premarket, after the company's second-quarter results missed estimates. Lower insulin prices weighed on sales, and the pharmaceutical name cut its full-year forecast as well. Year-to-date, LLY is up 13.6%.
  3. China-based E-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) is up 6.9% before the bell, after its quarterly report beat expectations, despite revenue growth flat-lining for the first time due to Covid-19 lockdowns. BABA is off 50.6% year-over-year. 
  4. Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TM) is down 3% in electronic trading, after supply chain issues and inflation put pressure on the auto maker's fiscal first-quarter results. The company reported a 42% drop in profits year-over, with the stock shedding 8.8% in the last six months.
  5. Today will bring trade deficit data. 


Stocks Move Higher in Asia, Europe

Asian markets continued to rise on Thursday, led Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which added 2.1%, as Alibaba (BABA) staged a pre-earnings pop. The tech giant was expected to post its first drop in revenue on record, but managed to come in flat. Investors seem to be brushing off the tensions caused by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit as she continues her tour of Asia, and elsewhere in the region, China’s Shanghai Composite added 0.8%, the South Korean Kospi tacked on 0.5%, and the Nikkei in Japan rose 0.7%.

In Europe, stocks are also higher amid news that the Bank of England (BoE) lifted interest rates by 50 basis points -- marking the central bank’s biggest single rate hike since 1995 – in an attempt to combat rising inflation. At last check, the London FTSE 100 is up 0.6%, the French CAC 40 has added 0.9%, and the German DAX sports a 1.2% lead.



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