Stocks Sluggish as Oil Prices Sink

Energy stocks are offsetting a rally in the bank sector

Managing Editor
Jul 16, 2018 at 11:57 AM
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Stocks are trading close to breakeven today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) struggles to gain a foothold amid the advent of earnings season. Energy stocks are lower with oil prices, offsetting big gains for bank stocks in the wake of the latest earnings reports from the financial sector. August-dated crude futures are down 3.9% at $68.21 per barrel, amid easing concerns about supply disruptions. Elsewhere, traders are watching a joint press conference between President Donald Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the latter of which denied meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Against this backdrop, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are in the red, even with (AMZN) in focus ahead of its vaunted Prime Day, and fellow FAANG stock Netflix (NFLX) preparing for its turn in the earnings confessional after the close. 

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

  • Analyst: Avoid these REITs this earnings season.
  • UBS chimed in on these 2 shipping stocks.
  • Plus, options bulls race to First Solar stock; AMD boosted by bull note; and Tesla stock sinks in the wake of Elon Musk's Twitter rampage.

Midday Market Stats July 16

One name seeing notable options trading today is First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FSLR), where more than 14,000 calls have been traded -- three times what's typically seen at this point, and volume pacing for the 99th percentile of its annual range. Leading the charge today is the August 50 call, with over 10,000 contracts exchanged, and it seems options traders are hoping for another post-earnings move higher ahead of the company's report on July 26. First Solar stock has shed 20% in 2018, and has recently found resistance around the $56 region. At last check, FSLR shares are fractionally higher at $54.11.

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMD) is one of the best S&P 500 stocks so far today, up 4.2% to trade at $16.82, after Stifel upped its price target on the chipmaker to $21 from $17 -- territory AMD has not seen since 2007. The analyst noted that the AMD could steal some of the PC and server CPU market share from rival Intel (INTC) in 2019. AMD stock has been red-hot in 2018, adding 64% and relying on support from its 30-day moving average.

MMC Daily Chart AMD

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is struggling today, one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq, as the stock is hit with blowback from CEO Elon Musk's recent controversial remarks. Musk took to Twitter over the weekend to attack a British diver following the rescue of 12 Thai boys and their soccer coach, and the spelunker is now reportedly considering legal action. Tesla stock is now trading below its year-to-date breakeven point, and has shed 13% in the last month. At last check, TSLA shares are 3.3% lower at $308.44.


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