An upbeat earnings season continues to keep losses in check

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) are eyeing a modest drop this morning, despite the blue-chip index yesterday notching a record close amid soaring investor optimism. The same is true for S&P 500 (SPX) futures, while futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq-100 (NDX) are pointed slightly higher. Investors are taking a more cautious stance ahead of today’s conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expected to outline the tapering of its bond-buying program.

Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:

  • Options bears are piling on this firearms stock.
  • Bull signal flashing on this biotech giant.
  • Plus, unpacking CVS’ earnings beat; Bed Bath & Beyond’s new partnership; and what’s sinking Norwegian Cruise Line stock.

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw more than 2 million call contracts traded on Tuesday, compared to 771,670 put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio fell to 0.37, and the 21-day moving average stayed at 0.48.
  2. The shares of CVS Health Corp (NYSE:CVS) are down 1.8% ahead of the open, despite the pharmacy staple reporting better-than-expected third-quarter earnings and revenue. The company attributed the strong results to Covid-19 vaccines and testing. Year-over-year, CVS stock sports a 56.9% lead going into today.
  3. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBY) is surging before the bell, last seen up 52.6%. Today’s pop came after the company announced an in-store partnership with Kroger (KR), while adding its share buyback program is ahead of schedule. Over the past month, BBY has added 19.3%.

  4. Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd (NYSE:NCLH) is down 2.1% in electronic trading, after the company reported a third-quarter earnings and revenue miss. The cruise name noted it expects positive cash flow in the first quarter of 2022, however, and that it will be profitable later that year. In the past 12 months, NCLH has added 65.6% 
  5. It gets busy today, with the ADP employment report, Markit composite purchasing managers index (PMI), Markit service PMI, revised durable and core capital goods orders, factory orders, and the ISM non-manufacturing PMI due out. Investors will also be keeping an eye on the ISM services index.

Asian Markets as Fed Announcement Looms

Stocks in Asia closed today’s session lower, as investors awaited updates from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting. South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.3%, even after Kakao Pay’s debut on the index saw its shares more than double from their issue price. The Hong Kong Hang Seng and Shanghai Composite in China lost 0.3% and 0.2%, respectively, despite the Caixin/Markit services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) flashing an increased in services activity in the country. Markets in Japan were closed for holiday.

European markets are also awaiting a monetary policy decision from the Fed, though comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde regarding unlikely interest rate hikes are helping the major bourses find direction. At last check, London’s FTSE 100 has shed 0.3%, while the French CAC 40 and German DAX are 0.2% and 0.1% higher, respectively.