Stock Futures Mixed as Investors Unpack Jobs, Trade Data

Investors are unpacking jobless claims and trade deficit data

Deputy Editor
Dec 28, 2023 at 9:14 AM
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Coming off a relatively muted session, stock futures are mixed before the opening bell as investors prepare for the final two trading days of 2023. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) continues to flirt with all-time highs, while futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are slightly lower, and Nasdaq-100 (NDX) futures are in the black.

In other news, the Labor Department revealed initial jobless claims rose by 12,000 to 218,000 last week, higher than expected. Further, data from the Commerce Department showed the U.S. trade deficit in goods widened more than anticipated, rising 0.8% to $90.3 billion in November. 

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

  • These 2023 underperformers could be short-term plays.
  • This steel stock has room to run higher.
  • Plus, 2 tech stocks land bull notes, and new salaries for's front line.

Futures Chart December 282023

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.3 million call contracts and 1.3 million put contracts traded Wednesday. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.96, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.69. 
  2. Wedbush raised its price target on Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) to $450 from $425. The analyst cited artificial intelligence (AI) and how it will "change the cloud growth trajectory" for the tech giant. This comes despite the company and OpenAI being sued by New York Times (NYT). Last seen 0.3% higher in electronic trading, MSFT is up 56% in 2023.
  3. Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) are up 0.4% before the bell, adding to a 73.1% 12-month lead, after Keybanc hiked its price target on the equity. The Wall Street brokerage adjusted its price target on NFLX to $525 from $510, and maintained its "overweight" rating. 
  4. U.S.-listed shares of Inc (NASDAQ:JD) are 3.6% higher premarket, after Bloomberg News reported that the Chinese e-commerce company is planning to raise pay for its front-line staff. Year over year, JD is down 52.8%.
  5. What to look out for in the last week of 2023.


Asian Stocks Mostly higher After Gaming Rules Decision 

Chinese regulators’ promise to reconsider proposed gaming rules continued to boost Asian markets on Thursday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng settled 2.5% higher, while South Korea’s Kospi and China’s Shanghai Composite added 1.6% and 1.4%, respectively. Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.4%, however, brushing off better-than-expected retail sales data for November.

European markets are mostly lower, as investors slow down before the New Year and major indexes across the world hover near record highs. London’s FTSE 100 sports a modest 0.04% gain, the German DAX is 0.2% lower, and France’s CAC 40 is down 0.4%.


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