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“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” – Ben Franklin

First, it was General Electric (GE) and now it’s Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) which has announced that it will split up and separate its consumer business from its pharma and medical device unit. The stock is trading up 3% on the news but is still well off its recent highs from August.

The rally in JNJ has provided a lift to Dow futures along with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, but unless equities can meaningfully build on these early gains during the trading day, all three major averages will finish the week in the red ending a five-week streak of gains.

On the economic calendar today, the only two reports are JOLTS and Michigan Confidence.  The JOLTS reading is expected to show a modest decline from last month’s reading, which you may recall came in significantly weaker than expected.  Michigan Confidence is expected to show a small bounce, but the key in that report will be where inflation expectations stand.

Read today’s Morning Lineup for a recap of all the major market news and events from around the world, including the latest US and international COVID trends.

While the S&P 500 is lower over the last five trading days heading into today, the majority of sectors have actually experienced gains during that five-day stretch.  Leading the way higher, Materials (XLB) has rallied more than 2.5%, followed by Industrials (XLI), Consumer Staples (XLP), and Energy (XLE).  On the downside, Consumer Discretionary (XLY) has dropped more than 3% while Communication Services (XLC) is down more than 1%.  The only two other sectors that have declined are Health Care (XLV) and Technology (XLK).

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