This website uses cookies to collect usage information in order to offer a better browsing experience. By browsing this site or by clicking on the "ACCEPT COOKIES" button you accept our Cookie Policy.

In Preservation Mode



Chief Market Analyst

A record finish Friday for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite is being preserved for the most part this morning by the futures market. There isn’t a lot of buying conviction at the moment, but notably, there isn’t any selling conviction either.

Currently, the S&P 500 futures are up five points and are trading 0.2% above fair value, the Nasdaq 100 futures are up 21 points and are trading 0.2% above fair value, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are up 19 points and are trading 0.2% above fair value.

Much of this morning’s attention is focused on the effect and after-effects of Hurricane Ida rolling over Louisiana yesterday. There are over one million people reportedly without power and reports note that nearly all of the Gulf Coast oil production was shut in with the storm’s approach and impact.

There are some significant refining operations in Louisiana. Worries about extended shutdowns and possible damage to pipelines have lifted unleaded gasoline futures. They are currently up $0.03, or 1.6%, to $2.16/gallon.

WTI crude futures are well behaved. They are currently flat at $68.74 per barrel, dealing with a separate Reuters report that Kuwait’s oil minister is suggesting OPEC+ may possibly need to reconsider its agreement to raise output by 400K bpd given the growth headwinds created by the Delta variant.

That variant and its effects have prompted lots of businesses to reconsider return to office plans and market participants to reconsider when the Fed might announce a plan to cut back on its asset purchases.

Fed Chair Powell on Friday left the door open to a possible tapering announcement before the end of the year, yet he also made it sound as if he is waiting to see the August jobs report this Friday before being persuaded to jump on board with a tapering timeline announcement at the Sept. 21-22 FOMC meeting.

The stock market responded well on Friday to Mr. Powell’s remarks, yet the bigger catalyst was likely his reminder that any future increase in the target range for the federal funds rate faces a substantially more stringent test and that “we have much ground to cover to reach maximum employment.” We addressed Mr. Powell’s speech and its implications for the stock market in The Big Picture column published on Friday.

There isn’t a lot of corporate news this morning making a market-moving impact.

Affirm Holdings (AFRM) is up a whopping 40% after announcing a “Buy Now, Pay Later” deal with (AMZN)Hill-Rom Holdings (HRC) is up 8% following a Wall Street Journal report that Baxter (BAX) is in advanced talks to acquire HRC for approximately $10 billion or $150 per share, and Moderna (MRNA) is down 2.4% on a Reuters report that Japan has temporarily suspended nearly one million Moderna vaccine shots on contamination concerns.

Some ratings actions of note include Stifel downgrading Brinker (EAT) and Dave & Buster’s (PLAY) to Hold from Buy, Robert W. Baird downgrading Capital One (COF) to Underperform from Neutral, Argus downgrading Pinterest (PINS) to Hold from Buy, and Seaport Global Securities starting American Express (AXP) with a Neutral rating.

The 10-yr note yield is down one basis point to 1.30%, sitting tight so to speak on Ida damage assessments, ongoing COVID concerns, and the stock market’s eventual course when the cash session begins.

Originally Posted on August 30, 2021 – In preservation mode

Disclosure: Interactive Brokers

Information posted on IBKR Traders’ Insight that is provided by third-parties and not by Interactive Brokers does NOT constitute a recommendation by Interactive Brokers that you should contract for the services of that third party. Third-party participants who contribute to IBKR Traders’ Insight are independent of Interactive Brokers and Interactive Brokers does not make any representations or warranties concerning the services offered, their past or future performance, or the accuracy of the information provided by the third party. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

This material is from and is being posted with permission from The views expressed in this material are solely those of the author and/or and IBKR is not endorsing or recommending any investment or trading discussed in the material. This material is not and should not be construed as an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. To the extent that this material discusses general market activity, industry or sector trends or other broad based economic or political conditions, it should not be construed as research or investment advice. To the extent that it includes references to specific securities, commodities, currencies, or other instruments, those references do not constitute a recommendation to buy, sell or hold such security. This material does not and is not intended to take into account the particular financial conditions, investment objectives or requirements of individual customers. Before acting on this material, you should consider whether it is suitable for your particular circumstances and, as necessary, seek professional advice.

In accordance with EU regulation: The statements in this document shall not be considered as an objective or independent explanation of the matters. Please note that this document (a) has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research, and (b) is not subject to any prohibition on dealing ahead of the dissemination or publication of investment research.

Any trading symbols displayed are for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to portray recommendations.

Disclosure: Futures Trading

Futures are not suitable for all investors. The amount you may lose may be greater than your initial investment. Before trading futures, please read the CFTC Risk Disclosure. A copy and additional information are available at

trading top