Weak GDP Pressures Dow Jones Industrial Average

3 Hated Stocks Ahead of Earnings

Josh Selway
Jan 27, 2017 at 12:13 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is trading lower, as a disappointing round of economic data weighs on stocks. Most notably, fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) missed expectations, with the U.S. economy growing just 1.9%. Oil prices are feeling the heat, too, with March-dated crude futures down 2% at $52.72 per barrel. While not all news is negative -- Dow stock Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is rallying after the company's impressive earnings report -- the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also struggling ahead of this afternoon's news conference for President Donald Trump and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Nevertheless, all three major indexes are set to finish with strong weekly gains. 

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

  • 3 hated stocks ahead of earnings.
  • The booming tech stock squashing short sellers after earnings.  
  • Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.
  • Plus... Option bulls target Kellogg, the semiconductor stock making a comeback, and Starbucks' bad day. 

Midday Market Stats Jan 27

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Kellogg Company (NYSE:K). The stock is up 0.9% at $72.74, and call volume is running at 19 times the intraday norm. Heavy attention is being paid to the cereal stock's March 80 call, where more than 8,200 contracts have traded. Buy-to-open activity seems likely, as bulls bet on K rallying above $80 over the next two months. While K has not traded north of $80 since September, it came close when M&A buzz had the shares rallying back in November. 

One stock gaining on the Nasdaq is Lam Research Corporation (NASDAQ:LRCX). While the stock slipped yesterday following the semiconductor expert's earnings release, the shares have more than made up for those losses today, adding 3.7% at $118.54. LRCX is already up 71% year-over-year, and could have more room to run

Daily Chart of LRCX Jan 27

One of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq is Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX), down 3.7% to trade at $56.30, after the coffee giant's earnings report. The shares are down 8.9% since their annual high of $61.79 from last February, and an unwinding of optimism could weigh on SBUX going forward. 

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is down 0.2 point, or 1.5%, at 10.47, earlier hitting a more than two-year low of 10.32. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 2.67 -- just 1 percentage point from an annual high -- with puts nearly tripling calls. SPY is down 0.2 point, or 0.1%, at $229.10. 

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