Commodity Brokerage Specializing in Online Futures and Options Trading

Call 1-888-456-8090 to begin trading today - International Investors call 1-317-224-7000

Home > Futures Reports > S&P 500

S&P 500 Futures

S&P 500 futures point to lower open after jobs report, trade talks remain in focus

Free S&P 500 Futures Trading eGuide


May 4th, 2018 
U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower open on Friday, extending the recent weakness that has been seen in the equity market as the April jobs report came in below expectations.

Trade talks between the U.S. and China were also drawing attention, as the second day of discussions took place. The U.S. has reportedly handed Beijing’s team a lengthy list of demands aimed at cutting the trade imbalance between the two.
What did the main benchmarks do?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMM8, -0.43%  were down 103 points, or 0.4%, to 23,806, while S&P 500 futures ESM8, -0.44% ESM8, -0.44% slipped 10.30 points, or 0.4%, to 2,621.25. Nasdaq-100 futures NQM8, -0.36%  fell 31.50 points, or 0.5%, to 6,633.

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.01% recovered from a decline of as many as 394 points and closed up less than 0.1%, to 23,930.15, ending a four-session slide. The S&P 500 index SPX, -0.05% dropped 0.2% to 2,629.75, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.10% closed 0.2% lower at 7,088.15.

For the week, the Dow industrials were set for a 1.6% slide as of Thursday’s close, while the S&P 500 was looking at a 1.5% fall and the Nasdaq at a 0.4% decline.
What’s driving markets?

The U.S. created 164,000 new jobs in April, below the 188,000 that had been expected. Separately, the unemployment rate fell to 3.9% from 4.1%, the first time the jobless rate has dropped below 4% since the end of 2000.

In Beijing, U.S. and Chinese officials were meeting for discussions on tariffs and other trade issues. Worries about trade hostilities between the top two global economies have roiled financial markets in recent months.

Read: Here’s how sensitive the stock market has become to ‘trade war’ talk

The U.S. has handed China a lengthy list of demands, The Wall Street Journal reported, including a demand to reduce the bilateral trade deficit by at least $200 billion by the end of 2020. The deficit stood at $375 billion last year.

Several Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak on Friday. New York Fed President William Dudley kicks off the speeches at 12:45 p.m. Eastern at Bloomberg headquarters in New York, covering “financial tumult of our times and challenges ahead.”

San Francisco Fed President John Williams is set to appear at a monetary policy conference at the Stanford University’s Hoover Institution at 3 p.m. Eastern. At the same conference, Fed Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles steps up at 5:30 p.m. Eastern to talk about liquidity regulation and the Fed’s balance sheet.

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic and Kansas City Fed President Esther George are all slated to take part in a panel discussion at the conference at 8 p.m. Eastern.
What are strategists saying?

“We’re at or near full employment, so the jobs report shouldn’t be a big market mover, compared with issues like wages or trade. If we get through May and June and see that the trade talk was most rhetoric and posturing, that headwind will turn into a tailwind. Conversely, if this spitting match that is going back and forth leads to tariffs being enacted, then the headwind will become stronger,” said Hank Smith, chief investment officer at Haverford Trust Co.
Which stocks are in focus?

Newell Brands Inc. NWL, +3.45% rose 4.9% ahead of the opening bell after first-quarter earnings beat forecasts. The consumer goods company also announced an agreement to sell packaging maker The Waddington Group for about $2.3 billion.

Alibaba BABA, -1.06%  climbed 2.4% premarket after the Chinese e-commerce giant posted fiscal fourth-quarter revenue and earnings that beat expectations.

Celgene Corp. CELG, +2.26%  added 2.3%. The biotech company posted first-quarter earnings ahead of forecast and provided a 2018 outlook above analysts’ expectations.

VF Corp. shares VFC, -3.73% may be in focus after the lifestyle and apparel retailer produced reported an adjusted profit that was better than expected and revenue growth of about 22% to $3.05 billion. Shares weren’t actively traded.

After the close, Berkshire Hathaway Inc. BRK.A, -0.06% BRK.B, -0.13%  is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings report. Chief Executive and Chairman Warren Buffett hosts Berkshire’s annual meeting on Saturday.

Check out: How Warren Buffett’s stock picks for Berkshire Hathaway have performed in 2018

Pandora Media Inc. P, +17.13%  shares soared 12% ahead of Friday’s bell after the streaming-music company late Thursday posted an earnings and revenue beat.

Apple Inc. AAPL, +2.24%  was up 1.1% after CNBC reported Berkshire Hathaway bought 75 million shares of the iPhone maker in the first quarter.

CBS Corp. CBS, +2.89% rose 2.6% after the media company late Thursday swung to a quarterly profit and reported a sales beat.

 - MarketWatch.

GoPro Inc. GPRO, +6.45%  inched 0.8% higher before the open, after the technology company late Thursday posted earnings that beat expectations.

Shake Shack Inc. SHAK, +19.88% shares jumped 7.6% ahead of the bell. The burger chain late Thursday posted an earnings beat and lifted its outlook.
What are other markets doing?

European stocks SXXP, +0.16% were trading higher, while Asian stocks closed mostly lower ahead of the U.S. jobs report.

Gold prices GCM8, -0.24%  inched down, while U.S. oil futures CLM8, +0.25%  moved slightly higher. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.43% was up 0.1% at 92.539

See Also: S&P 500 News Blog Dow Jones Industrial Average


Stocks in U.S. Fluctuate as S&P 500 Heads for Its Best December Since 1991

December 31st, 2010

U.S. stocks swung between gains and losses, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for its second straight annual advance and its best December since 1991.

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. fell at least 0.7 percent to lead losses in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. CVS Caremark Corp. gained 0.1 percent after the drugstore operator agreed to buy a unit of Universal American Financial Corp. Borders Group Inc. slumped 19 percent after suspending payments to some publishers. Alcoa Inc. rose 1.6 percent for the biggest gain in the Dow.

The S&P 500 fell less than 0.1 percent to 1,257.69 as of 11:21 a.m. in New York. The index has climbed 13 percent this year and 6.5 percent this month. The Dow slipped 1.66 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 11,568.05 today, and is up 11 percent this year. The 2010 advance follows a 23 percent rise in the S&P 500 in 2009, making it the biggest two-year advance since the Internet-bubble rally of 1998 and 1999.

“This year has been like a long road trip. It wasn’t always pleasant while on the way, but it was good once we reached the destination,” said Lawrence Creatura, a Rochester, New York-based fund manager at Federated Investors Inc., which oversees about $340 billion. “Today we have skeleton crews at investment houses and trading shops so it’s likely going to be a very light day.”

Earnings, Fed Moves

The S&P 500 advanced 23 percent from its July low through yesterday as companies reported better-than-estimated earnings and the Federal Reserve pledged to buy up to an extra $600 billion in Treasuries to stimulate the economy. Its rally to a two-year high has pushed its valuation to 15.7 times reported profits, the most since June.

This year’s increase for the benchmark index for U.S. equities means the gauge has risen for seven of the past eight years. The index’s 86 percent surge from a 12-year low on March 9, 2009, is the biggest for a comparable time period since 1955, according to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P.

The S&P 500’s advance sent the gauge above 1,251.70 on Dec. 21 for the first time since Sept. 12, 2008, the last trading day before Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed the world’s biggest bankruptcy and prompted a 46 percent drop for the benchmark gauge through March 2009. The December rally for the benchmark index comes after it lost 0.2 percent in November and posted a combined gain of 13 percent in September and October, the biggest increase during those months since 1998.

‘Optimistic’ on 2011

“I’m quite optimistic about the performance of equity markets in the year ahead,” said Andrew Popper, chief investment officer at SG Hambros Bank Ltd. in London. “We have the conditions in place for seeing this rally continuing. The economy is recovering at a global level.”

The benchmark gauge for American equities will rise 9.2 percent from yesterday’s close of 1,257.88 to 1,374 in 2011, bringing the increase since 2008 to 52 percent, according to the average of 11 strategists in a Bloomberg News survey.

Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest computer maker, retreated 0.9 percent to $41.89 and Microsoft fell 0.7 percent to $27.67 as technology companies led declines in the S&P 500, dropping 0.4 percent as a group.

CVS Caremark gained 0.1 percent to $35.04. The drugstore operator said it will acquire the Medicare Part D business of Universal American Financial for about $1.25 billion. Universal American surged 37 percent to $20.

Clearwire Corp., a company creating a nationwide high-speed wireless network using WiMax technology, slumped 1.3 percent to $5.15 after it said Chairman Craig McCaw will step down today.

Borders slumped 19 percent to 93 cents. The bookstore chain has suspended payments to some publishers as refinancing talks continue, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing Publishers Marketplace.

Alcoa, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, rose 1.6 percent to $15.44.

Imax Corp. rallied 11 percent to $29.79. Sony Corp. may be preparing to bid more than $40 a share for the company that designs and makes giant-screen movie theaters, the Daily Mail reported, citing London traders. Walt Disney Co. may also be interested in bidding for Imax, the newspaper said.

 - Nikolaj Gammeltoft in New York at Bloomberg.