Morning Update: Major Indices Lower Ahead of the Bell

First Look

Stocks are slightly lower before the bell Tuesday. President Trump is threatening to impose $11 billion in new tariffs on imports from the European Union in response to a 14-year-long dispute between the U.S. and the EU regarding subsidies paid to aircraft manufacturers. The dispute, which is being heard by the World Trade Organization involves European firm Airbus SE and U.S. aerospace giant Boeing (BA). The $11 billion in tariffs will target a wide variety of European imports ranging from jetliners to cheese. Meanwhile, the EU is preparing its own set of retaliatory tariffs against the U.S. on an undisclosed list of American goods. Crude continues higher as supply concerns grow with the ongoing fighting in Libya and rising tensions with Iran. The Dow Jones is down -0.06%, the S&P 500 is down -0.09%, the Nasdaq is down -0.11%.

Today's market outlook is Neutral

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.
Ronald Reagan

Stocks on the Move

BB&T Corporation (BBT), Walt Disney Co (DIS) and Comcast Corporation (CMCSA) are moving higher this morning, while AT&T Inc. (T), General Electric Company (GE) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) are headed lower. Public Storage (PSA), Geron Corporation (GERN) and ZTE/Shs H Vtg 1.00 (ZTCOF) were upgraded by analysts this morning, while SAP SE (SAP), American Assets Trust, Inc (AAT) and HB Fuller Co (FUL) were downgraded.

International Markets

Stocks in Asia are mixed. The Hang Seng is up 0.27%, the Nikkei 225 is up 0.19%, the Australia ASX All Ordinaries is up 0.07% the Shanghai SE Composite Index is down -0.16% and the Mumbai Sensex is down -0.42%. In Europe stocks are mixed. The Euro Stoxx 50 is up 0.05%, the CAC 40 is up 0.04%, the FTSE 100 is down -0.02% and the DAX is down -0.16%.

Futures and Currencies

Energy futures are mixed today. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil is up 0.03 at 64.43 per barrel. Brent crude is down -0.11 at 70.99 per barrel. Natural Gas is flat at 2.7. Precious metals are mixed this morning. Gold is up 3.9 at 1305.8 per ounce. Platinum is down -7.63 at 901.56 while silver is up 0.02 at 15.24. The dollar is down compared to the major currencies today. The greenback is down against the euro, down against the Yen and down against the Pound.

Put/Call Ratio

Yesterday, 846,951 call contracts traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) compared to 578,942 put contracts. The single-session put/call was 0.68 while the 20-day moving average is now at 0.61.

Earnings Expected Today

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Today's Economic Calendar

What's Happening Period Release Time
NFIB Small Business Optimism Index Mar 06:00
JOLTS - Job Openings Feb 10:00

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