Stocks Boosted By China Trade Talks, Rallying Tech

The Nasdaq is set to snap its three-day skid

Managing Editor
Jul 31, 2018 at 11:49 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up triple digits today, with blue chips Pfizer (PFE) and Procter & Gamble (PG) turning higher after earnings. In addition, traders are cheering encouraging trade talk developments between the U.S. and China. A Bloomberg report indicated that representatives of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He have been meeting privately to defuse the icy trade relations between the two superpowers.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are cautiously higher as well, with the latter on track to snap its three-day skid in the wake of a rebounding tech sector. Elsewhere, investors will be eyeing the start of the Fed meeting today, as well as earnings from FAANG titan Apple (AAPL) after the close.

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

  • The 25 best stocks to own in August. 
  • Qualcomm stock earned a bull note after announcing a buyback.
  • Plus, options bears target more losses for TAL stock; Ralph Lauren soars to multi-year highs; and AK Steel stock sinks on subpar quarterly results.

Midday Market Stats July 31

One name seeing notable options trading today is TAL Education Group (NYSE:TAL), where more than 19,000 puts have traded -- 10 times the intraday norm, with put volume pacing in the 99th percentile of its annual range. Among the most active option today is the August 25 put, where it appears most of the activity is of the buy-to-open variety. Shares of the beleaguered Chinese firm are down 3.8% to trade at $31.47 today, and have shed 21% in the last week, due to ugly guidance and another Muddy Waters report

Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL) is one of the stronger stocks on the S&P 500 today, up 4.1% to trade at $141.46, and earlier touching a three-year high of $147.79, after the luxury retailer reported fiscal first-quarter earnings and revenue above analyst estimates. The company's sales figures also rose for the first time in years. RL stock has now gained 37% in 2018.

AK Steel Holding Corporation (NYSE:AKS) is one of the worst stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 12.4% to trade at $4.70, after the steel company reported second-quarter earnings and revenue that fell short of analyst estimates. AKS shares are on track for their worst day since Jan. 30, although their 50-day moving average has emerged as support.

MMC Daily Chart AKS


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