Dow Jones Industrial Average Eyes 9th Straight Win Ahead of Fed Minutes

3 Healthcare ETFs That Could Be Overheating

Feb 22, 2017 at 11:58 AM
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After dropping out of the gate, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) began to claw higher, tapping another intraday record high and eyeing its ninth straight gain. Traders are taking a cautious approach today, awaiting this afternoon's release of minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, which could bring clues as to when the central bank may next raise interest rates. Energy stocks are trading lower as crude oil pulls back, with March-dated crude futures off 1.6% at $53.47 per barrel on a stronger U.S. dollar. And while the blue-chip index treads water just above the breakeven level, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are lagging behind, with neither seeing positive territory so far in the session.  

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

  • healthcare ETFs that could be overheating.
  • 2 retail stocks inspiring little confidence ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, post-earnings options traders target Wal-Mart, Garmin raises its outlook, and Texas Roadhouse eyes a three-month low.

Midday Market Stats February 22

Dow component Wal-Mart Stores Inc (NYSE:WMT) is among the stocks with unusual options volume today. With analysts weighing in bullishly on the company's Tuesday earnings, WMT shares are up 0.3% at $71.65, and puts are trading at triple the expected intraday rate. In fact, with nearly 24,000 contracts on the tape, WMT's put volume is running in the 99th percentile of its annual intraday range. Most popular by a mile is the April 70 put, where more than 11,000 contracts have changed hands. Trade-Alert suggests new positions are being bought here, with put buyers betting on -- or hedging against -- a decline below the round $70 mark over the next two months. 

Among the top performers on the Nasdaq at midday is GPS expert Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), up 9.4% at $55.21, and not far below its August annual high. Boosting the shares is a well-received turn in the earnings confessional, along with a raised full-year forecast, though the stock could see more gains ahead, should wary analysts begin to upwardly revise their opinions.

Restaurant interest Texas Roadhouse Inc (NASDAQ:TXRH) is among the Nasdaq's worst performers, off 13.2% at $41.47 following an earnings miss and bearish brokerage attention. The plummet has TXRH giving up the support of its 80-day moving average, and on track for its lowest close since the U.S. presidential election in early November.

TXRH Daily Chart February 22

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