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Hot Stock News for Options Traders

Dow Jones Industrial Average Shakes Off Early Losses for Modest Win

Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (FDO) soars on a long-awaited deal with Dollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR)

by 7/28/2014 4:11:42 PM
Stocks quoted in this article:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was down more than 80 points about an hour into today's session, amid escalating tensions with Russia and disappointing housing data. However, an afternoon recovery allowed the blue-chip bellwether to manage a modest advance by the close. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) charted a similar path to eke out a small win.

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

  • Making sense of this $1 million bet on Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT).
  • Family Dollar Stores, Inc. (NYSE:FDO) finally decided to take Carl Icahn's merger advice ... and it paid off big time.
  • What analysts and investors are expecting from these 3 names, as they prepare to step into the earnings confessional tomorrow.
  • Plus ... Home sales disappoint, geopolitical tensions continue to escalate, and Trulia Inc (NYSE:TRLA) soars on takeover news.
Trading Topic of the Week -- Trading Low-Priced Options: DO target smaller stocks with the potential for big gains. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement surrounding big-name, high-dollar stocks like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). Remember, though -- a small-cap stock trading at $10 per share needs to rise only 10 points to double in value.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI - 16,982.59) mustered a gain of 22.0 points, or 0.1%, by the close. However, only 14 of its 30 components finished in the black, led by UnitedHealth Group Inc. (NYSE:UNH), which added 1.3%. Fifteen stocks posted losses, paced by Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) 1.2% dip, while Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) finished flat.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX - 1,978.91) ended a mere 0.6 point, or 0.03%, higher. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP - 4,444.91) performed the worst of the three, shedding 4.7 points, or 0.1%.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX - 12.56) lost 0.1 point, or 1.0%, but still managed to close above 12 for the second day in a row.

CLOSING SUMMARY – INDICES

CLOSING SUMMARY – NYSE AND NASDAQ

5 Items on Our Radar Today:

  1. After three straight months of growth, pending home sales unexpectedly fell in June due to flat wages, strict credit requirements, and regional supply shortages. Specifically, the National Association of Realtors' (NAR) index dipped 1.1% from the previous month, and 7.3% year-over-year. (Fortune)
  2. In geopolitical news, the U.S. has decided to join the European Union (EU) in imposing additional sanctions on Russia for supporting separatists in Ukraine. An advisor to President Barack Obama said the nations are looking at the arms, energy, and financial sectors as potential targets for the sanctions. In related news, Ukrainian authorities confirmed that Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 -- which may have been shot down by the aforementioned separatists -- was destroyed by shrapnel from a missile. (Reuters, via CNBC; MarketWatch)
  3. Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (NASDAQ:SWHC) will pay a $2 million fine levied by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly paying foreign officials to secure supplier contracts. The gun maker agreed to the settlement without admitting to or denying the charges, and will be closely monitored by the SEC for the next two years. (FOX Business)
  4. TRLA made a major move on the heels of its buyout agreement with Zillow, Inc. (NASDAQ:Z).
  5. As Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) inches closer to the century mark, option traders are playing the stock in a couple of different ways.
EARNINGS

For a look at today's options movers and commodities activity, head to page 2.

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