Morning Update: Markets slide heading into the weekend

First Look

Stocks are down in the pre-market Friday morning. Investor sentiment is on the decline now that earnings season is coming to an end. Many of the big players having already reported, and so major economic and geopolitical issues are circling back into the spotlight. The outlook for slowing economic growth across much of Europe is being blamed on trade uncertainties and a weakening global economy. China’s economy also seems to be on the downturn as trade disputes linger. President Trump said in a White House interview Thursday that he would not be meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Mar. 1 deadline for imposing new tariffs of up to 25% on $200 billion in imports from China. The U.S. government is also still on pace for another shutdown next week unless a deal on a new funding bill can be reached in Congress. The Dow Jones is down -0.48%, the S&P 500 is down -0.55%, the Nasdaq is down -0.81%.

Today's market outlook is Neutral

Only the gentle are ever really strong.
James Dean

Stocks on the Move

Mattel, Inc. (MAT), Expedia Group Inc (EXPE) and Phillips 66 (PSX) are moving higher this morning, while Hasbro, Inc. (HAS), Qorvo Inc (QRVO) and Micron Technology, Inc. (MU) are headed lower. Archer Daniels Midland Co (ADM), BB&T Corporation (BBT) and GrubHub Inc (GRUB) were upgraded by analysts this morning, while Kellogg Company (K), Match Group Inc (MTCH) and S&P Global Inc (SPGI) were downgraded.

International Markets

Stocks in Asia are down. The Nikkei 225 is down -2.01%, the Australia ASX All Ordinaries is down -0.37%, the Hang Seng is down -0.16% and the Mumbai Sensex is down -0.01%. The Shanghai Stock Exchange is closed for the Lunar New Year. Stocks in Europe are down. The FTSE 100 is down -0.55%, the DAX is down -0.5%, the Euro Stoxx 50 is down -0.28% and the CAC 40 is down -0.23%.

Futures and Currencies

Energy futures are mixed today. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil is down -0.18 at 52.46 per barrel. Brent crude is up 0.22 at 61.85 per barrel. Natural Gas is up 0.04 at 2.59. Precious metals are up this morning. Gold is up 4.33 at 1313.44 per ounce. Platinum is up 2.35 at 800.57 while silver is up 0.1 at 15.81. 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, 1,008,551 call contracts traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) compared to 706,989 put contracts. The single-session put/call was 0.70 while the 20-day moving average is now at 0.63.

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