Strong Earnings Prop Up Stocks

President Trump's comments have caused the dollar to sink

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 20, 2018 at 12:02 PM

Stocks are cautiously higher today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) erasing early losses thanks to strong earnings results from Microsoft (MSFT). The blue chip's big day is helping offset bubbling trade tensions, after President Donald Trump threatened to put tariffs on essentially all imported goods from China. In addition, Trump levied accusations toward China and the European Union (EU) of currency manipulation -- comments that sent the dollar careening lower -- and once again went after the Fed on the pace of rate hikes. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also modestly higher today, while all three benchmarks are on track for weekly wins. 

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

  • Trump's China comments overshadow Skyworks' earnings beat.
  • The shoe stock getting destroyed today.
  • Plus, options bears flocking to FCAU stock; Cleveland-Cliffs toasts an earnings beat; and PTC Therapeutics inks a big deal.

Midday Market Stats 720

One name seeing notable options trading today is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE:FCAU), where more than 4,500 puts have traded -- four times what's typically seen at this point, and volume pacing for the 97th percentile of its annual range. Leading the charge today is the August 18 put, with over 3,300 contracts exchanged, and new bearish positions being opened. FCAU is down 1.6% to trade at $19.21 today, likely lower amid concerns over tariffs for European automakers.

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE:CLF) is a notable outperformer so far today, up 9.6% to trade at $9.68, and earlier touching a two-year high of $9.69, after the steel giant reported second-quarter earnings that exceeded expectations. CLF has now added 34% in 2018. 

PTC Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTCT) is one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today, up 7.2% to trade at $39.10, after the drug name inked a deal to buy Agilis Biotherapeutics in an attempt to expand its gene therapy pipeline. PTCT stock has more than doubled in 2018, guided higher by its ascending 80-day moving average. 

MMC Stock Chart PTCT

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