Stocks Climb to Record Levels Ahead of Fed Decision

The first trading day of November has brought more stock gains

Nov 1, 2017 at 12:00 PM
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Stocks for the most part are holding their early gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) all touching record peaks this morning. However, the Nasdaq has since erased its lead, weighed down by a pre-earnings pullback for Apple (AAPL) stock.

Investors are digesting today's strong ADP jobs report, while gearing up for a busy afternoon. Specifically, the latest Fed decision is due in just a few hours -- though the central bank is not expected to announce any policy changes -- and President Trump is reportedly a day from unveiling his pick for Fed Chair.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • The manufacturing stock crashing after earnings.
  • Bears move in on Starbucks stock before earnings.
  • Plus, call buyers bet on Community Health; a soaring steel stock; and a cybersecurity name at all-time highs.

midday market stats nov 1

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is hospital operator Community Health Systems (NYSE:CYH), ahead of the company's earnings release after the close tonight. With the shares last seen 7% lower at $5.48, calls are crossing at 12 times the pace expected at this point in the day, and buy-to-open activity looks likely at the weekly 11/3 5.50-strike call -- meaning bulls are betting on CYH rising above the strike by Friday's close, when the contracts expire. Over the past six months, the equity has shed 43% of its value, and is set for its lowest close of 2017.

One of the biggest gainers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is steel stock United States Steel Corporation (NYSE:X), after the company's upbeat earnings report. The shares are up 11% at $28.05, earlier touching their highest point since an April bear gap, and on pace to retake its 200-day moving average. However, today's rally stalled out just shy of the round $30 mark.

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Over on the Nasdaq, cybersecurity specialist Qualys Inc (NASDAQ:QLYS) is also outperforming after earnings, last seen 6.5% higher at $56.35. QLYS stock earlier touched a record high of $57.35, and is now up almost 52% over the past year.

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