Elsewhere, on Wall Street, fourth-quarter earnings season rolled on, with tech companies sharing the limelight with Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) -- which refused to budge after an ESPN-related revenue miss. Twilio Inc (NYSE:TWLO) shares, for instance, jumped after the cloud firm's quarterly results, and are now lingering near levels not seen since December. Meanwhile, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) extended its Barron's-induced run higher after NVIDIA Corporation's (NASDAQ:NVDA) report, while shares of video game maker Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) hit a new record high after earnings. Not all of the week's quarterly results were well-received, though, with social media stock Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), retailer Michael Kors Holdings Ltd (NYSE:KORS), and drugmaker Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) among those taking post-earnings plunges.
On the heels of its own blowout earnings report from last week, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) continued to notch new annual highs -- prompting a massive influx of call volume in the stock's options pits, a potentially bullish options signal. With plenty of pessimism left to unwind, the argument could be made for AAPL record highs, with one brokerage firm setting a lofty $154 price target on Wednesday. Options traders were quick to target gold shares, too, as the malleable metal hovers in three-month-high territory. In fact, 50-day buy-to-open option volume on the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) is within striking distance of the one-million-contract marker -- a level surpassed only one other time in its history.
Looking ahead, there's plenty of action on next week's calendar to keep traders on their toes. Fed Chair Janet Yellen, for instance, is slated to join a number of Fed speakers at the mic. With the March Fed meeting roughly one month away, Wall Street will look to see if Yellen echoes this week's relatively hawkish tone taken by Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker, or the more dovish approach of Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who offered support for a more accommodative take to raising interest rates. Elsewhere, standard February options are due to expire at next Friday's close, and Schaeffer's Senior V.P. of Research Todd Salamone has repeatedly noted in Monday Morning Outlook that monthly options expiration can impact equity price action. After the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) left the call-heavy 230 strike in the dust this week, Salamone targeted the overhead 232 level as the next one to watch for SPY.
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