Dow Turns Lower Despite Retail Rally

Stock traders are cautious amid the central bank summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Managing Editor
Aug 24, 2017 at 12:15 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is slightly lower at midday, as markets eye the central bank summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Ahead of speeches from Fed Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi tomorrow, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said she doesn't think weak inflation is "an issue that we should be particularly concerned about," especially "in the context of a growing economy [and] jobs being added." Speaking of jobs, while weekly jobless claims rose by less than expected last week, existing-home sales fell to a 2017 low in July. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also slightly lower, despite an encouraging round of earnings from retailers.

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

  • The big bullish bet on a global stock rally.
  • 2 retail stocks with room to run, should bears hit the bricks.
  • Plus, Macy's options traders flock to calls; Abercrombie's earnings victory; and the retailer in the red.

Midday Market Stats Aug 24

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is retailer Macy's (NYSE:M) , with roughly 21,600 calls traded -- double the average intraday pace, and on track to finish in the 98th percentile of its annual range. Most of the action centers around the January 21 calls, where over 6,500 contracts have been traded today -- mostly bought to open. Thanks to a broader retail rally, M stock is currently up 3.3% to trade at $21.14, after touching a seven-year low of $19.32 on Tuesday.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE:ANF) stock is up 13% at $10.95, near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, after the retailer reported a second-quarter loss that was smaller expected. ANF stock has an excellent history post-earnings, and the boost today is much-needed. The retail stock fell to a 17-year low of $8.81 on July 12, but today is set to reclaim its 50-day moving average for the first time since early July, before a major M&A-related bear gap.

Midday Market Chart ANF Aug 24

Retailer Express, Inc. (NYSE:EXPR) is among the worst stocks on the NYSE, down 3.4% to trade at $6.30. EXPR stock gapped higher on Wednesday, following an earnings beat, but has since reversed course. EXPR stock has shed 40% year-to-date, and fell to a record low of $5.28 on Aug. 21.

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