Dow Jones Industrial Average Rallies Atop 20,000; Financial Stocks In Focus

20 Stocks to Watch If the Pats Win the Super Bowl

Feb 3, 2017 at 11:58 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has spent the session so far blasting higher, set to close atop the round 20,000 level for the first time in a week. Boosting stocks today is a better-than expected jobs report, with the key nonfarm payrolls number blasting past predictions, overshadowing an uptick in the unemployment rate and disappointing growth for hourly wages. Traders continue to digest the latest round of earnings results, too, which include downbeat figures from some tech favorites, but have propelled blue-chip Visa Inc (NYSE:V) to fresh highs. Bank stocks are also higher as President Donald Trump takes aim at scaled-back financial reforms. Meanwhile, oil prices are on the rise after the U.S. announced sanctions against numerous individuals and entities related to a ballistic missile test in Iran, with March-dated crude futures on pace to close above $54 per barrel for the first time in four weeks.

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

  • 3 stocks spiraling after earnings.
  • 20 stocks to watch if the Patriots win the Super Bowl.
  • Plus, a massive post-earnings options trade on Visa, a cybersecurity stock at annual highs, and Chipotle earnings.

Midday Market Stats February 3

Among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday is payment specialist V, which is currently the top performer on the Dow, up 5% at $86.40, after earlier tapping a record high of $86.82. An upbeat earnings result has the stock on the rise, and options traders are wasting no time chiming in, with V calls flying across the tape at 12 times the average intraday pace, and call volume on track for a 52-week peak. Leading the action so far are the March and June 80 calls, where it appears one trader sold to open blocks of 14,470 and 13,203 contracts, respectively. According to Trade-Alert, this massive call writing was part of a hedged bet tied to some 2.3 million V shares.

Cybersecurity firm Fortinet Inc (NASDAQ:FTNT) is one of the top performers on the Nasdaq at midday, up 12.9% at $37.47 -- and fresh off a new annual high of $37.98 -- finally closing a mid-October bear gap, following a well-received earnings report. The result earned FTNT a slew of bullish brokerage notes, but recent short sellers could be headed to the exits. 

FTNT Daily Chart February 3

Among the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange, meanwhile, is restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG). The shares are down 3.7% at $408.26 following an earnings miss, though the firm did report its first sales increase in five quarters, and actually received one analyst upgrade this morning.

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