Photo: Forbes
Photo: Forbes

GameStop shares jump

Shares of GameStop jumped 11% in premarket trading after the company announced Monday that it has tapped Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen to lead its shift to e-commerce.

Cohen is serving as chairman of a special committee formed by GameStop’s board to help its transformation. Board members Alan Attal, Chewy’s former top operations executive, and Kurt Wolf, chief investment officer of Hestia Capital Management, also serve on the committee.

Cohen invested in GameStop last year to push the video game retailer to focus on online sales and turn away from physical stores. His involvement with the company helped spark the stock’s wild ride earlier this year. Shares of GameStop have surged more than 700% so far in 2021, giving the company a market value of $10.6 billion.

Nasdaq Futures Drop 2% as European Shares Gain

The Nasdaq 100 Index is set to extend losses, with futures falling as much as 2% in early European trading. Oil climbed after Saudi Arabia said the world’s largest crude terminal was attacked.

Rising bond yields continue to dominate investor attention and fan concerns about lofty tech valuations. The global picture in equities was mixed on Monday, with losses in S&P 500 futures and Asian stocks, while European shares advanced.

Brent crude topped $70 a barrel. Saudi Arabia said a storage tank at Ras Tanura in the country’s Gulf coast was targeted on Sunday by a drone from the sea. The attack was intercepted and oil output appeared to be unaffected.

“You will see a lot of volatility in markets,” Kim Stafford, Asia Pacific head at Pacific Investment Management Co., said on Bloomberg Television. “We believe that confidence is improving, especially with vaccines coming online, so we will see an uptick in growth globally. There are a lot of reasons to be confident in the market but a lot of this is also priced in.”

Dow Jones Futures

Dow Jones futures were 0.1% above fair value. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.25%. Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.9%. At one point Sunday evening, futures rose solidly across the board.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.58%, near recent highs.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister said oil tanks in Ras Tanura Port were hit in drone attack while a ballistic missile targeted Aramco facilities. Crude oil futures rose modestly Sunday evening. Oil prices surged last week as OPEC+ agreed to keep production quotas intact through April.

Remember that overnight action in Dow futures and elsewhere doesn't necessarily translate into actual trading in the next regular stock market session.

Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

Asian stocks gain on US stimulus

Asian shares rallied on Monday while the dollar held near three-month peaks after the US Senate passage of a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill and a surprisingly strong payrolls report augured well for a global economic rebound. Japan's Nikkei gained 1.2 per cent, while S&P500 futures rose 0.3 per cent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.46 per cent to 29,232.47. Korea's Kospi added 0.40 per cent to 3,038.26.

Investors sent stock futures up Sunday night, ahead of the first trading day following the Senate’s passage of the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief bill.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures gained 225 points, or 0.87%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures both rose 0.6%. The coming week’s earnings reports include XPeng, Casey’s General Stores, and Stitch Fix on Monday, followed by Dick’s Sporting Goods, H&R Block, and Thor Industries on Tuesday. AMC Entertainment, Campbell Soup, and Oracle release earnings on Wednesday. DocuSign, JD.com, and Ulta Beauty announce results on Thursday, and Buckle and Northern Oil & Gas report on Friday. The National Federation of Independent Business releases its Small Business Optimism Index for February on Tuesday, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer-price index comes out Wednesday.

ASX manages to hold onto gains

The S&P/ASX 200 has closed at 6739.6 points, which is a gain of 0.4 per cent, or 28.7 points. While this was well below the high of 6835 reached during the morning, the ASX was at least able to hold onto its positive gains while major Asian indices ended the day deep in the red.

Hong Kong’s market was higher before sinking 1.6 per cent. While China’s CSI300 was last down nearly 2 per cent after being as much as 1.2 per cent higher in the morning. Volatility is never far away.

The US futures weighed heavily on traders and pointed to declines of about 1 per cent on the Nasdaq tonight, 0.3 per cent on the S&P500, and a flat Dow Jones.

On the ASX 200, the materials sector out-performed and added the most points with a 1.7 per cent rise. BHP was up 2.4 per cent, Rio Tinto was up 2.9 per cent, and gold mining giant Newcrest was up 2.7 per cent. Fortescue closed higher, up 0.5 per cent. However, Lynas dragged with a 2.2 per cent fall, and BlueScope declined 1.3 per cent to $17.98.

Financials were up 0.5 per cent and consumer staples 0.7 per cent. Treasury Wine Estates enjoyed the biggest gains of the day, up 6.4 per cent to $10.97 after rumours European drinks giant Pernod Ricard was interested in the company.

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