Stock Futures Rise as Fed Comments Continue

Investors are also unpacking jobs and trade deficit data

Deputy Editor
Mar 7, 2024 at 9:03 AM
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Wall Street is looking to extend yesterday's gains, with futures on all three major indexes pointed firmly higher ahead of the open. Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak before the Senate Banking Committee again today, following yesterday's testament before the House Financial Services Committee, in which he signaled rate hikes in 2024 but was ambiguous as to when. Meanwhile, jobless claims stayed at 217,000, while the trade deficit widened by 5.1% to $67.4 billion. 

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

  • Options traders chimed in on JD.com stock surge. 
  • Bank stocks tend to underperform in March, historically. 
  • Plus, newest weight-loss drug enters the ring; and two stocks moving higher after earnings. 

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5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 1.4 million call contracts and over 1.1 million put contracts exchanged Wednesday. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.83, while the 21-day moving average climbed to 0.71.
  2. Novo Nordisk A/S (NYSE:NVO) stock is up 5.9% premarket, after the company reported positive phase 1 trial results for its experimental weight-loss drug, amycretin. Showing higher weight loss than popular Wegovy, the drug is fully in the ring of contenders. Should these gains hold, Novo stock will start the day at fresh record highs. Year over year, the equity is up 74%. 
  3. Shares of American Eagle Outfitters Inc (NYSE:AEO) are up 10.9% before the bell, after the retailer posted better-than-expected fourth-quarter results. On track for two-year highs, American Eagle stock is up 10.8% since the start of 2024. 
  4. Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) stock is up 5% ahead of the open, after the grocery giant posted mixed fourth-quarter results, with earnings beating estimates, as well as an upbeat 2024 forecast. Should these gains hold, Kroger stock will break above the $50 level, which has kept a cap on rallies for a little over a year. Since the start of the year, KR is up 10.5%. 
  5. More economic data to monitor this week. 

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Nikkei Hits New Record

Stocks in Asia closed mixed, as investors weighed upbeat trade data out of China with U.S. Fed remarks on interest rates. Japan’s Nikkei pulled back 1.2%, despite earlier surging to a fresh record high. China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng backpedaled 1.3% for the session, while South Korea’s Kospi finished up 0.2%.

Markets across the pond are struggling for direction at midday, as retail giant Hugo Boss suffers a steep post-earnings pullback, while the European Central Bank (ECB) is widely expected to keep rates steady. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 is down 0.06%, France’s CAC 40 is up 0.09%, and Germany’s DAX is off 0.02%.

 

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