Home Depot Drops Dow Jones Industrial Average

Microsoft options are popping ahead of earnings

by Karee Venema

Published on Jul 20, 2017 at 11:59 AM
Updated on Jul 20, 2017 at 12:02 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) traded in positive territory at the open, but has since moved lower after Amazon claimed Home Depot as its latest victim. The e-tailer inked a deal with Sears Holdings to sell its Kenmore brand, sending the Dow stock spiraling. Negative earnings reactions for American Express and Travelers and a Bloomberg News report that special counsel Robert Mueller is widening his Russia probe to include President Donald Trump's business dealings are only adding to the risk-off backdrop. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also struggling to gain ground, though both indexes hit record highs earlier today.

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

  • Short covering may be helping this drug stock surge 24%.
  • 2 social media stocks slammed by analysts.
  • Plus, Microsoft options traders active ahead of earnings; a soaring energy stock; and Lowe's feels the Amazon effect.

midday market stats july 20

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), with roughly 132,000 contracts traded -- three times the expected intraday pace. Ahead of tonight's earnings report, August options are popular, with a block of more than 19,000 August 80 calls traded not long ago. Elsewhere, longer-term traders are purchasing new positions at the September 2018 75-strike call. After hitting a record high of $74.24 earlier, MSFT stock was last seen down 0.3% at $73.62.

Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) is the biggest percentage gainer on the SPX at midday, as news the energy infrastructure company is on schedule with its Trans Mountain pipeline expansion overshadows a second-quarter earnings miss. KMI stock is up 5.8% at $20.82. The shares are back in positive year-to-date territory, but are struggling near their 200-day moving average -- a trendline that served as support in March.

kmi stock daily chart july 20

The new partnership between Amazon and Sears is weighing on home improvement retailer Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW), too. LOW stock is one of the worst stocks on the SPX today, down 6.1% at $72.15 to trade near levels not seen since early February.

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