Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are pointed slightly lower this morning, after notching a record-high close and fourth straight win yesterday. Futures on the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) are also signaling a lower start, despite pumping out record-high closes of their own. Traders are digesting today’s inflation data, with the latest consumer price index (CPI) topping expectations. Boosted by higher rent and gas prices, the cost of living surged 0.4% last month, and is now up 1.9% annually — just shy of the Fed’s official 2% target.
Rising geopolitical tensions are also playing into the market’s bearish bias, as North Korea’s most recent threats include using a nuclear weapon to sink Japan and turn the U.S. into “ashes and darkness,” following the latest U.N. sanctions on the isolated country.
Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:
5 Things You Need to Know Today
- The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 946,228 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 517,562 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.55, and the 21-day moving average dropped to 0.63.
- Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ:OPK) stock is down 3.3% in pre-market trading, after J.P. Morgan Securities downgraded the stock to “neutral” from “overweight,” citing the company’s struggling product launches. The pharmaceutical stock hit a four-year low of $5.85 on Aug. 17.
- Shares of Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:HALO) are up 18.3% in electronic trading, after the company said it will enter a global collaboration and license agreement for drug delivery technology with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY). The U.S. drugmaker also raised its full-year forecast as a result of the deal. HALO stock closed at $13.18 yesterday, up 33.4% year-to-date.
- Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC) stock is up 7.8% before the bell, after reports that the company hired advisers to explore strategic options, including a potential sale. This news comes less than two weeks after the hospital operator’s chairman and CEO announced his plan to step down in March. The healthcare stock hit an eight-year low of $12.54 on Aug. 17.
- Weekly jobless claims are due out today, while Oracle (ORCL) will report earnings.
Disappointing economic reports out of China weighed on most Asian benchmarks today. Data from the mainland showed industrial production rose less than expected in August, while retail sales also missed and fixed asset investment slowed. As such, China’s Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng both slipped 0.4%, while Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.3%. A rally in blue chips helped South Korea’s Kospi buck the regional bearish bias, though, with the index finishing up 0.7%.
European markets are trading in negative territory at midday, as traders weigh the Bank of England’s (BoE) decision to leave its interest rate unchanged, though the central bank suggested a rate hike could be on the horizon. Declining mining stocks are also putting pressure on regional benchmarks, following the dismal Chinese factory data. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 is down 0.8%, the German DAX is flirting with a 0.3% loss, and the French CAC 40 is fractionally lower.
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