Stocks Higher After Fed Policy Report

The central bank's semiannual report pointed to three rate hikes this year

Managing Editor
Feb 23, 2018 at 11:55 AM
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Stocks are once again higher at midday, with tech taking the lead. The Fed remains in focus, as the central bank's semiannual monetary policy report pointed to just three rate hikes in 2018. In addition, ahead of new Fed Chair Jerome Powell's first Congressional testimony next week, New York Fed President William Dudley waxed optimistic on the central bank's drawdown of its balance sheet, and investors are awaiting speeches from San Francisco Fed President John Williams and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up triple digits, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is in positive territory, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is set to snap its four-session losing streak. However, all three indexes are still pacing for a weekly loss.

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

  • 3 bank stocks blasted by analysts.
  • Another shipping stock downgraded on Amazon concerns.
  • Plus, LOW's unusual options volume; GoDaddy stock's surge; and the wing chain seeing big losses.

Midday Market Stats Feb 23

Among the list of stocks with unusual options volume today is home improvement concern Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW), with more than 55,000 call contracts traded -- 36 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. Most of the action is attributable to a massive roll of 25,000 March 95 calls to the October series, according to Trade-Alert. The adjustment comes ahead of the company's Feb. 28 earnings report. At last check, LOW stock was 0.4% higher to trade at $97.26.

One of the top performers on the New York Stock Exchange today is domain marketplace GoDaddy Inc (NYSE:GDDY). Shares of GDDY are surging after the company reported a fourth-quarter revenue beat. In response, the stock touched a fresh record high of $60.85, and at last check had gapped 8.5% higher to trade at $60.12. Looking broader, GoDaddy stock has gained over 19% year-to-date.

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today is chicken wing chain Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING), after the company issued a weak first-quarter forecast. At last check, the shares of WING were down 8.3% at $42.87, just atop their 50-day moving average, which briefly acted as support in early January.

Daily Chart of WING with 50MA Since Feb 17 2


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