Wall Street's Rally in Jeopardy as Stock Futures Fall

Mortgage demand ticked lower last week

Deputy Editor
Dec 20, 2023 at 9:21 AM
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Stock futures are lower Wednesday, following an impressive win streak on Wall Street. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Nasdaq-100 (NDX) are on track to snap their nine-day run higher, following some disappointing earnings results. Meanwhile, S&P 500 Index (SPX) futures are also in the red, after the broad-market benchmark yesterday neared record highs. On the economic front, mortgage demand fell last week, even after rates dropped.

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

  • How new and old NDX stocks stack up.
  • Don't bet on this airline stock just yet.
  • Plus, FedEx's earnings; retail stock's downgrade; and Alibaba's C-suite moves.

Futures Chart December 202023

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw nearly 1.3 million call contracts and 793,140 put contracts traded Tuesday. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.61, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.69. 
  2. Shares of FedEx Corp (NYSE:FDX) are down 10.8% before the open, after the delivery company turned in weak fiscal second-quarter earnings results to go with a lowered fiscal-year sales forecast. Should this morning's losses hold, it will dent FDX's 65.9% year-over-year lead.
  3. Stifel downgraded home-improvement retailer Lowe's Companies Inc (NYSE:LOW) to "hold" from "buy." And though the analyst hiked its price target by $5 to $240, LOW is still 1.5% lower premarket and looking to cut into its 8.5% quarterly gain.
  4. U.S.-listed shares of China-based tech firm Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) are down 1.3% in electronic trading and on track to add to a 14.4% year-to-date deficit following some news from the C-suite. Specifically, CEO Eddie Wu is set to assume leadership at Taobao and Tmall Group -- the company's domestic e-commerce unit.
  5. Investors will parse plenty of economic data before the short Christmas week. 


Euro Zone Experiences Sharp Drop in Inflation

Asian markets were mostly higher on Wednesday, following decisions from the Bank of Japan (BoJ) and the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) to keep interest rates unchanged. South Korea’s Kospi led the gainers with a 1.8% gain, followed by Japan’s Nikkei 1.4% pop. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.7%, and China’s Shanghai Composite shed 1%.

European markets are reacting to a sharper-than-expected drop in U.K. inflation data for November, in addition to yesterday’s positive trade data, both of which are fueling hopes the Bank of England (BoE) will cut rates next year. London’s FTSE 100 is up 0.6%, France’s CAC 40 sports a modest 0.06% again, and the German DAX is just below breakeven with a 0.04% deficit.


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