A Peek Into The Markets: US Stock Futures Down Ahead Of Walmart Earnings, Economic Data

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Pre-open movers

U.S. stock futures traded lower in early pre-market trade after the Dow Jones climbed to another record high on Wednesday. Investors are awaiting earnings reports from Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT), Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) and Applied Materials, Inc (NASDAQ: AMAT).

Data on initial jobless claims, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index, housing starts, permits, import and export prices will be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is set to speak at 8:00 a.m. ET, while Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic will speak at 10:00 a.m.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 70 points to 31,479.00 while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index futures traded slipped 13.75 points to 3,914.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index fell 88 points to 13,611.75.

The U.S. has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, with total infections in the country exceeding 27,826,810 with around 490,540 deaths. India reported a total of at least 10,950,200 confirmed cases, while Brazil confirmed over 9,978,740 cases.

Oil prices traded higher as Brent crude futures rose 0.4% to trade at $64.58 per barrel, while US WTI crude futures rose 0.4% to trade at $61.37 a barrel. The American Petroleum Institute, late Wednesday, reported a draw of 5.8 million barrels in crude oil inventories for the week ending February 12. The Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on natural gas stocks in underground storage is scheduled for release at 10:30 a.m. ET, while the Energy Information Administration’s weekly report on petroleum inventories will be released at 11:00 a.m. ET.

A Peek Into Global Markets

European markets were mixed today. The Spanish Ibex Index fell 0.1% and STOXX Europe 600 Index rose 0.1%. The French CAC 40 Index declined 0.2%, German DAX 30 rose 0.2% while London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.2%.

Asian markets traded mostly lower today. Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.19%, China’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.55% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.58%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.01%, while India’s BSE Sensex fell 0.7%. Hong Kong’s unemployment rate increased to 7% in the three months to January 2021, while Australia’s unemployment rate declined to 6.4% in January. The People’s Bank of China kept the interest rate unchanged.

Broker Recommendation

UBS downgraded TechnipFMC plc (NYSE: FTI) from Buy to Neutral.

TechnipFMC shares fell 5.1% to $7.40 in pre-market trading.

Check out other major ratings here

Breaking News

  • Baidu Inc (NASDAQ: BIDU) reported better-than-expected results for its fourth quarter and issued strong sales guidance for the first quarter.
  • Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) only has a few million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in its inventory even though regulatory authorization could just be weeks away, Reuters reported.
  • Herbalife Nutrition Ltd (NYSE: HLF) reported downbeat earnings for its fourth quarter. However, the company raised its FY21 guidance and reported a new $1.5 billion share repurchase authorization.
  • The recent frenzied-movements in so-called meme stocks like GameStop Corp (NYSE: GME) are causing the apex market regulator to consider ushering in more transparency in short trades, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Check out other breaking news here

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