Stock Futures Muted, Eyeing Another Losing Week

Oil prices moved briefly higher amid Middle East tensions

Deputy Editor
Apr 19, 2024 at 9:27 AM
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Wall Street is on track for another losing week. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are poised to open higher, but the indexes are still eyeing a third-straight weekly loss. Meanwhile, Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) futures are lower, with the tech-heavy benchmark at risk of marking its fourth consecutive week in the red.

Oil prices briefly jumped after Israel carried out a limited strike on Iran. The mounting tensions in the Middle East are spiking volatility, with the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) surging above 20 earlier this morning.

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

Futures Chart April 192024

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw nearly 1.2 million call contracts and 875,743 put contracts exchanged Thursday. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.68, while the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.71.
  2. Shares of Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) are 7.1% lower before the bell, brushing off better-than-expected earnings and revenue. Investors are instead paying attention to the streaming name's gloomy full-year revenue outlook as well as news that it will stop providing quarterly subscriber figures -- its most watched metric. NFLX is up 25.4% this year.
  3. Up 9.4% ahead of the open, Paramount Global (NASDAQ:PARA) is looking to cut into a 25.8% year-to-date deficit following after The New York Times reported Sony Group (SONY) is discussing plans to acquire the company with Apollo Global Management (APO).
  4. The world's largest oil-services firm, Schlumberger NV (NYSE:SLB), announced first-quarter earnings of 75 cents per share on revenue of $8.71 billion, the former matching estimates and the latter topping expectations. Despite the revenue win, SLB is 1.7% lower ahead of the open, looking to add to a 3.2% year-over-year deficit.
  5. Manufacturing and services data is due out next week, in addition to the personal consumption expenditures price (CPE) index.


Geopolitical Tensions Pressure Global Markets

Asian stocks are deep in the red amid the escalating conflict in the Middle East, with oil prices surging and shipping firms the only sector rallying. Japan’s Nikkei dropped 2.7%, even after inflation for March fell to 2.7%, below the 2.8% estimates. A lackluster post-earnings reaction from auto giant Nissan is also weighing on the region. South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.6%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and China’s Shanghai Composite gave back 1% and 0.3%, respectively.

European markets are also feeling the effects of the geopolitical turmoil, as well as central bank rhetoric. European Central Bank (ECB) voting member advocated for interest rate cuts in June, a plan that has the support of President Christine Lagarde. London’s FTSE 100 is off 0.5%, after U.K. retail sales came in flat month-over-month in March. The French CAC 40 is 0.1% lower, despite a post-earnings bull gap from cosmetics giant L’Oreal, while the German DAX is nursing a 0.5% deficit.


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