S&P Heads Toward Fourth Straight Win as Dow Struggles

Gasoline futures are surging as Tropical Storm Harvey makes a second landfall

Managing Editor
Aug 30, 2017 at 12:14 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has traded in a tight 46-point range so far, as traders weigh increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea against a batch of strong economic data. Following the rogue nation's most recent missile strike, President Donald Trump tweeted earlier that "Talking is not the answer!". The Dow was most recently seen trading modestly lower, though the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are higher at midday, with the former pacing for a fourth straight win.

Traders are also monitoring Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall along the Louisiana coast earlier. While October-dated crude oil futures are trading near breakeven at $46.44 per barrel, September-dated gasoline futures have surged nearly 7%.

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

  • Founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer makes the case for trading tech stocks over small caps. 
  • The drug stock down 81% -- and fresh off a record low.
  • Plus, Sprouts Farmers Market's call volume spikes; AK Steel stock rallies; and a sinking airline stock.

Midday Market Stats Aug 30

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM), with over 14,000 calls traded -- seven times the average intraday pace. The Sept 22.50 call has attracted the most attention, with over 9,500 contracts traded. SFM stock is currently up 1.6% to trade at $20.09, bouncing after Amazon's recent takeover of Whole Foods sparked a selloff among grocery stocks.

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) is up 5.6% at $5.81, near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), amid a broader surge in steel stocks. AKS stock has shed 45% year-to-date, but the rally today has the shares closing in on their 40-day moving average -- a trendline that served as steady resistance in the first half of the year.

Midday Market Chart AKS Aug 30 new

Airline issue United Continental Holdings Inc (NYSE:UAL) is among the worst stocks on the S&P 500 today, down 1.1% to trade at $62.17. The stock is reacting to the fallout from Tropical Storm Harvey, which resulted in the airline canceling 2,000 flights through Thursday. UAL stock has shed 15% year-to-date.

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