Oil Keeps Dow Jones Industrial Average Grounded

What a Flattening Yield Curve Means for Stocks

by Josh Selway

Published on Jun 20, 2017 at 11:56 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is struggling for upside today, despite earlier tagging a record intraday high, as weakness from the energy sector holds back the broader stock market. Oil prices continue to fall amid concerns of oversupply, with July-dated crude futures down 3.1% to trade at $42.83 per barrel -- flirting with bear-market territory. However, strong gains from healthcare stocks is softening the blow -- though the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are both lower, as well. 

Meanwhile, investors are keeping an ear turned toward Washington, D.C. Specifically, House Speaker Paul Ryan is expected to speak this afternoon on tax reform, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin this morning told CNBC major tax reform is coming in 2017. 
Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

  • Our founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer explains what a flattening yield curve means for stocks
  • Analyst: Cryptocurrency demand could fuel Nvidia stock gains. 
  • Plus, options traders brace for Schlumberger losses; Regeneron outperforms; and Chipotle's ugly day.

midday market stats june 20

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is energy stock Schlumberger Limited (NYSE:SLB), with the shares down 2.3% at $66.53. It appears options traders are betting on more losses for SLB stock, with puts trading at two times the expected pace. Most popular are the weekly 6/23 66- and 67-strike puts, along with the July 63 put, and it's possible buy-to-open activity is taking place at all three contracts. Schlumberger stock earlier hit an annual low of $66.04, and hasn't traded below $63 since January 2016. 

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN) is outperforming on the Nasdaq, even though Novartis released upbeat trial data for a rival vision loss treatment. REGN stock was last seen 5.9% higher at $499.70, and earlier touched a 52-week high of $504.33. Since bottoming at $360 in late April, Regeneron stock is up almost 39%. 

regeneron stock

Over on the New York Stock Exchange, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) is under pressure, following a disappointing business update and bearish analyst attention. CMG stock has fallen 6.5% to $429.24, and is now testing support near its 160-day moving average. 

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