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Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) futures are trading modestly below fair value ahead of a potentially volatile session for stocks. The caution comes with “Super Thursday” events already underway overseas, including a press conference from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi and a general election in the U.K. Earlier, the ECB left its interest rate unchanged, but removed its reference to future rate cuts, and indicated it is leaving the door open for more quantitative easing (QE), if needed.
Meanwhile, former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee beginning at 10 a.m. ET. This follows yesterday’s release of Comey’s written testimony, as well as President Donald Trump’s nomination of Christopher Wray to head the FBI.
Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:
- Time to buy options on these 2 red-hot chip stocks.
- Breaking down Shotspotter stock’s big trading debut.
- The Dow stock BMO says is “near peak valuation.”
- Plus, Alibaba stock signals new high after sales forecast; a big sale for Valeant; and two streaming music giants shift gears.
5 Things You Need to Know Today
- The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 832,055 call contracts traded on Wednesday, compared to 482,770 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio edged down to 0.58, and the 21-day moving average remained at 0.61.
- At its annual investor day, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE:BABA) said it expects revenue to grow 45-49% in fiscal 2018, much higher than the expected rate of 36%. Despite a price-target cut at Deutsche Bank, BABA stock is up 13% in pre-market trading, with the e-commerce company on track to open at a record high.
- Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) said it is selling its iNova Pharmaceuticals unit in an all-cash deal valued at $930 million, just days after reports it is looking to put its Bausch & Lomb eye-surgery business on the auction block. VRX stock is trading 3% higher ahead of the bell.
- Pandora Media Inc (NYSE:P) and Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ:SIRI) have reportedly ended takeover talks on price disagreements, though sources are suggesting SIRI is looking to invest in P. While Pandora shares are 2.6% higher in pre-market trading, Sirius stock is down 0.4%.
- The Fed’s balance sheet will be released after tonight’s close. J M Smucker (SJM) and Verifone (PAY) will report earnings.
Asian stocks for the most part managed modest gains ahead of today’s busy schedule in the U.S. and Europe, though Japan’s Nikkei underperformed. Specifically, the index gave up early gains, closing down 0.4%, after first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data came in softer than anticipated. Economic data was better out of China, where traders digested stronger-than-expected import and export numbers. As such, the Shanghai Composite and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng both added 0.3%. In South Korea, the Kospi managed a 0.2% win, even after its neighbor North Korea reportedly launched cruise missiles during the morning hours.
European stock indexes are also testing positive territory. Investors are considering this morning’s ECB decision to leave interest rates unchanged, though it removed a reference to the possibility of “lower” rates in its policy statement. The attention will now shift to Draghi’s press conference. However, the FTSE 100 was last seen down 0.2%, amid today’s parliamentary election. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC 40 are both higher, though, sporting respective gains of 0.3% and 0.1%.