S&P Pulls Back from Record Highs as Stocks Take a Breather

Oil prices are higher after the International Energy Agency demand forecast

by Patrick Martin |

Published on Sep 13, 2017 at 12:08 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is slightly lower at midday, unable to build on the solid gains from the last two sessions. Apple's big iPhone reveal yesterday has done little for the stock, which at last check was trading in the red to lead the Dow laggards. Both the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also lower, though the former eked out another all-time high earlier.

However, energy stocks are mostly higher with oil prices; October-dated crude futures shot up 1.5% to $48.95 per barrel, thanks to an upwardly revised demand forecast from the International Energy Agency, as well as news that gasoline stockpiles fell by more than expected last week. In other news, House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that a tax reform plan will be released during the week of Sept. 25, while August's producer price index rose by less than expected, despite higher gas prices.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

  • The tech stock gutted by Apple. 
  • Analyst: Micron stock is headed for new highs.
  • Plus, a Nordstrom call flurry; Marathon Oil stock's bounce; and FCX stock stumbles.

Midday Market Stats Sept 13


Among the stocks with unusual options volume is retailer Nordstrom, Inc. (NYSE:JWN), with nearly 10,000 calls traded -- nine times the average intraday pace, and set for the 97th percentile of its annual range. The October 50 and 55 calls are attracting the most attention, with over 3,000 contracts exchanged between the two. JWN stock is currently up 5.5% to trade at $47.51, after reports of partnering with Leonard Green to go private.

Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO) stock is up 3.1% at $11.95 -- among the best on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today -- as energy stocks move higher with oil prices. Still, MRO stock has shed 31% year-to-date, and has seen its 80-day moving average provide stiff resistance to any sustained breakouts.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX) is among the losers on the S&P 500 today, down 2.3% at $14, after the mining company terminated its agreement to buy a copper mine stake in Nevada. Much like copper prices, FCX has had a strong year, tacking on 37% year-to-date. However, the shares are poised to end the week below their 10-week moving average for the first time since June.

FCX chart

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