Earnings Power Nasdaq to Record High

The Dow is on track to snap its three-day skid

Managing Editor
Jul 24, 2018 at 11:53 AM
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Stocks are roaring higher today as investors cheer a host of upbeat corporate earnings. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up nearly 200 points and on track to snap a three-day skid, thanks to strong reports from blue chips United Technologies (UTX) and Verizon (VZ). Caterpillar (CAT) is also notably higher amid reports the White House will soon announce plans for emergency aid for U.S. farmers impacted by tariffs, despite President Donald Trump's morning tweet that "Tariffs are the greatest!" The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is the big winner today, though, racing to a record high on the strength of Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) and its outstanding earnings report. Elsewhere, oil prices continue to climb, with September-dated crude futures up $1.02, or 1.5%, at $68.91 per barrel, at last check.  

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

  • Analyst: This media stock could explode after earnings.
  • This semiconductor stock is ripe for a short squeeze.
  • Plus, options bulls flock to surging Deere stock; AK Steel stock enjoys a halo lift; and Quest Diagnostics stock sinks on dismal earnings.

Midday Market Stats July 24

One name seeing notable options trading today is Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) , where nearly 13,000 calls have traded -- double what's typically seen at this point, and volume pacing for the 96th percentile of its annual range. Among the most active today are the weekly 7/27 135- and 136-strike calls, where it appears new bullish positions are being opened. Shares of the farm machinery manufacturer are up 3.9% to trade at $140.92 today, amid expectations for the White House to soon announce an aid package for U.S. farmers.

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) is one of the better stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, up 5.8% to trade at $5.31, likely getting a halo lift from excellent earnings from sector peer Steel Dynamics (STLD). Although AK Steel stock still is staring at a 6% deficit in 2018, the stock is set to close above its 200-day moving average for the first time since early-March.

MMC Daily Chart AKS

Quest Diagnostics Inc (NYSE:DGX) is near the bottom of the S&P 500 today, down 6.9% to trade at $107. The healthcare company reported second-quarter revenue that fell short of analyst expectations, while revising its fiscal-year outlook. DGX stock is on track for its worst day since Sept. 25. The shares, which touched a record high of $116.49 on June 25, are set to breach their 60-day moving average for the first time since late May.


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