Morning Update: Stocks drift lower

First Look

Stocks are pointed lower ahead of the open Thursday. A confluence of factors could be contributing to the weakness. First, the market has rallied for several days in a row and the S&P 500 is approaching the 2,600 level where nearly everyone who watches these things has drawn a line and expects to encounter resistance. Second, while the headlines from the conclusion of this round of trade talks with China are positive, they remain entirely free of specifics, making it very difficult to gauge how much progress is being made. Third, the government shutdown continues to drag on with no end in sight, even as federal workers will miss a paycheck tomorrow. The Dow Jones is down -0.23%, the S&P 500 is down -0.4%, the Nasdaq is down -0.54%.

Today's market outlook is Neutral

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.
Bill Gates

Stocks on the Move

Twitter Inc (TWTR), PG&E Corporation (PCG) and Constellation Brands, Inc. Class A (STZ) are moving higher this morning, while Macy’s Inc (M), Kohl’s Corporation (KSS) and Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN) are headed lower. Magna International Inc. (MGA), Waste Management, Inc. (WM) and Qorvo Inc (QRVO) were upgraded by analysts this morning, while Yelp Inc (YELP), PACCAR Inc (PCAR) and JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU) were downgraded.

International Markets

Stocks in Asia are mixed. The Mumbai Sensex is up 0.64%, the Australia ASX All Ordinaries is up 0.27%, the Hang Seng is up 0.22% the Shanghai SE Composite Index is down -0.36% and the Nikkei 225 is down -1.29%. Stocks in Europe are down. The CAC 40 is down -0.51%, the Euro Stoxx 50 is down -0.18%, the DAX is down -0.13% and the FTSE 100 is down -0.08%.

Futures and Currencies

Energy futures are mixed today. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil is down -0.33 at 52.03 per barrel. Brent crude is down -0.25 at 51.19 per barrel. Natural Gas is up 0.08 at 3.06. Precious metals are mixed this morning. Gold is down -2.04 at 1291.52 per ounce. Platinum is down -0.98 at 524.79 while silver is up 0.01 at 15.74. The dollar is mixed compared to the major currencies today. The greenback is up against the euro, down against the Yen and up against the Pound.

Put/Call Ratio

Yesterday, 1,010,544 call contracts traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) compared to 600,185 put contracts. The single-session put/call was 0.59 while the 20-day moving average is now at 0.72.

Earnings Expected Today

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Today's Economic Calendar

What's Happening Period Release Time
Initial Claims 01/05 08:30
Continuing Claims 12/29 08:30
EIA Natural Gas Inventories 01/05 10:30

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