Morning Update: Stocks Pointed Higher to Start Week

First Look

Stocks are ticking higher ahead of the bell Monday morning. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are scheduled to arrive in Beijing Monday to begin the next round of high-level trade talks with Vice Premier Liu He on Feb. 14 and 15. With the Mar.1 deadline looming, significant progress is needed to avoid an increase in tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods. U.S. lawmakers remain deadlocked in talks over border security and funding, pointing to another partial government shutdown if an agreement cannot be reached by Feb. 15. The Nasdaq is up 0.56%, the Dow Jones is up 0.43%, the S&P 500 is up 0.42%.

Today's market outlook is Neutral

We are all wrong so often that it amazes me that we can have any conviction at all over the direction of things to come. But we must.
Jim Cramer

Stocks on the Move

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), American Airlines Group Inc (AAL) and Henry Schein, Inc. (HSIC) are moving higher this morning, while Hess Corp. (HES), AutoZone, Inc. (AZO) and Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) are headed lower. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) and Hasbro, Inc. (HAS) were upgraded by analysts this morning, while Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Phillips 66 Partners LP (PSXP) and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY) were downgraded.

International Markets

Stocks in Asia are mixed. The Shanghai SE Composite Index is up 1.36%, the Hang Seng is up 0.71%, the Australia ASX All Ordinaries is down -0.12% the Mumbai Sensex is down -1.15% and the Nikkei 225 is down -2.01%. In Europe stocks are up. The CAC 40 is up 1.05%, the Euro Stoxx 50 is up 1.02%, the DAX is up 0.98% and the FTSE 100 is up 0.76%.

Futures and Currencies

Energy futures are mixed today. The price for West Texas Intermediate crude oil is down -0.27 at 52.45 per barrel. Brent crude is up 0.07 at 62.17 per barrel. Natural Gas is up 0.11 at 2.7. Precious metals are down this morning. Gold is down -9.47 at 1307.14 per ounce. Platinum is down -7.67 at 793.28 while silver is down -0.09 at 15.72. The dollar is up compared to the major currencies today. The greenback is up against the euro, up against the Yen and up against the Pound.

Put/Call Ratio

Yesterday, 1,078,626 call contracts traded on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) compared to 662,819 put contracts. The single-session put/call was 0.61 while the 20-day moving average is now at 0.63.

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