Real-Time Market Insights
Hot Stock News for Options Traders
Stocks quoted in this article:

A daily feature available on is the "SPX Hot Stocks" column. Each afternoon, we will provide a list of the day's top-20 performing stocks in the S&P 500 Index (SPX – 1,243.06) as well as the bottom-20 names. Featured along with this table will be news that is moving some of the securities.

NOTE: Stocks trading under $5 per share have been eliminated from this listing of the top-20 and bottom-20 performing stocks.

After a sleepy morning on Wall Street, trading seems to have picked up for the final two hours of the session. The SPX lost more than 0.9 percent yesterday, but at last check it had finally started to regain ground, logging a 0.3-percent advance. At last check, 48 percent of SPX stocks were showing gains.

The SPX has a new member today. Welcome CONSOL Energy (CNX: View sentiment for CNXsentiment, chart, options) taking over from Knight-Ridder, which was acquired yesterday by McClatchy (MNI: View sentiment for MNIsentiment, chart, options). According to Hoover's, CNX is one of the largest coal mining companies, along with Peabody Energy (BTU: View sentiment for BTUsentiment, chart, options) and Arch Coal (ACI: View sentiment for ACIsentiment, chart, options). The company has some 4.5 billion tons of proved and probable reserves, mainly in northern and central Appalachia and the Illinois Basin, and it produces about 70 million tons of coal annually. At last check, CNX was up almost one percent at $44.93.

Coach (COH: View sentiment for COHsentiment, chart, options) is an interesting security to study at the moment. In March it went into decline mode, losing more than 26 percent of its value, but in late May, we saw the stock slip into a narrow trading range between 28 and 29, whereupon there were clear signs of a consolidation taking place. By the time we grabbed our figures, the stock was up more than three percent on the day, and it had pulled its 10-day and 20-day moving averages into a bullish cross. Nevertheless, those trendlines lie overhead, ready to offer resistance, and COH was rejected them while traders were taking luncheon. The 29 level still looks troublesome here, but a break above 29 might make COH look appealing. One to watch.

Hess (HES: View sentiment for HESsentiment, chart, options) could also be a stock to watch. It hit an all-time high in February and then lingered in the region, consolidating onto the support of its rising 10month moving average. The stock was upgraded to "buy" from "neutral" by Merrill Lynch this morning, a move that I find easy to grok. HES has gapped higher on two consecutive opening bells this week.

Turning to the 20 stocks at the bottom of the 500 members of the SPX, we come to NIKE (NKE: View sentiment for NKEsentiment, chart, options), which posted a fourth-quarter profit of $332.8 million, or $1.27 per share. Excluding the charge for a Converse arbitration ruling, it would have earned $1.39 per share. Revenue hit $4 billion. Analysts had predicted a profit of $1.40 per share on revenue of $3.98 billion. NKE ran down almost four percent when we grabbed our figures for this piece, and it was the leading decliner on the SPX. Nevertheless, one brokerage, McAdams, Wright, Ragen, reiterated it at "buy," and interesting piece of advice to give on a stock that has lost eight percent since the turn of the year. Clearly not a momentum play.

Apple Computer (AAPL: View sentiment for AAPLsentiment, chart, options) was reiterated at "buy" this morning, although the stock has fallen more than three percent. AAPL hit an all-time high in January, but since then it has fallen from the middle 80s to the middle 50s. It's current price is the lowest we have seen since November 2005. The stock is trading in a narrow range bounded to the north by its 10-month moving average and to the south by its 20-month trendline, which lies in the 52 region. Any drop to 52 might present a buying opportunity.

Top 20 Advancing Stocks

Bottom 20 Declining Stocks

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