Stocks Poised to Extend Slide; Trump Takes Aim at Amazon

President Trump's tweets at Iran have caused oil prices to rise

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 23, 2018 at 12:01 PM

Stocks are mostly lower to kick off the week, as investors remain on the sidelines ahead an onslaught of big-name earnings reports, starting with Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) after the close. While bank stocks are helping the S&P 500 Index (SPX) climb out of the red, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pacing for a third straight drop, and the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is headed for its fourth straight decline, with Amazon (AMZN) shares lower following another Twitter tirade from President Donald Trump. The president once again took aim at Amazon's shipping practices, calling the U.S. Post Office the company's "delivery boy," and threatening antitrust action. Trump's morning tweetstorm also included threats against Iran, sending oil prices modestly higher. At last check, September-dated crude futures were up 40 cents, or 0.6%, at $68.63 per barrel.  

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

  • 2 auto stocks lower after surprise CEO shakeups.
  • The report sinking Tesla stock today.
  • Plus, options bulls bet on more Goldman Sachs stock momentum; Mattel stock jumps with Hasbro; and Micron stock pulls back.

Midday Market Stats July 23

One name seeing notable options trading today is Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS), where more than 23,000 calls have traded -- 1.7 times what's typically seen at this point, and volume pacing for the 94th percentile of its annual range. Leading the charge today is the weekly 7/27 235-strike call, with over 2,600 contracts exchanged, and new bullish positions being opened. Shares of the banking giant are up 1.1% to trade at $234.18 today -- set to topple their 60-day moving average for the first time since March -- as financial stocks buck the broad-market decline.

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) is one of the best stocks on the S&P 500 today, up 4.1% to trade at $16.64, likely getting a halo lift from sector peer Hasbro (HAS) and its earnings beat. Mattel stock has now bounced from its 200-day moving average, a trendline that served as a ceiling earlier in the year but has provided a floor since early June. Overall, MAT now sports a 8% lead in 2018.

MMC Daily Chart MAT

Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU) is one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today, down 3.3% to trade at $53.22, a part of a broader semiconductor sector pullback. Morgan Stanley analysts said the "present tariff-related uncertainty ... could represent the demand shock that leads to an inventory unwind in the semi supply chain." The drop has Micron stock testing its 120-day moving average, a trendline that caught a pullback earlier in July. Overall, MU has added nearly 29% in 2018.

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