Retail Strength Helps Stocks Sidestep D.C. Drama

The rise in oil prices could also be helping equities

Josh Selway
Aug 22, 2018 at 11:59 AM
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U.S. stocks are trading near breakeven ahead of this afternoon's release of the Fed meeting minutes, as traders balance the legal ramifications of Michael Cohen's guilty plea and another big day of retail earnings. Most notably, Target (TGT) shares are gaining thanks to upbeat second-quarter results, with company executives talking up the broader U.S. economy during the analyst call. The energy sector is also on the rise following a larger-than-anticipated drop in domestic crude inventories, which has October-dated crude futures up $1.73, or 2.6%, at $67.57 per barrel. Still, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was last seen slightly in the red.

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

midday market stats august 22

One stock seeing unusual options activity today is GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME), as shares of the video game retailer spike for a fourth straight session. At last check, GME stock was up 2.8% at $16.96, on pace for its highest close since January and the third straight atop its 200-day moving average. In the meantime, options activity is exploding, with put volume pacing in the 99th annual percentile. Most popular overall is the October 15 put, followed by the January 2019 18-strike put.

One of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today is Urban Outfitters, Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN), marking another major winner from the retail sector. URBN stock was last seen trading 6.5% higher at $50.83, and it already touched a record high of $52.50, with the move sparked by the company's impressive quarterly results. The equity has now added almost 162% in the past year.

urbn stock chart

One of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq is Super Micro Computer, Inc. (NASDAQ:SMCI), after the company said it'll need more time to file its 10Ks for fiscal 2017 and 2018, missing a previously set deadline. A price-target cut to $14 from $24 at D.A. Davidson is only pouring salt on the proverbial wound, and the stock is down 12.5% at $16.05, fresh off a four-year low of $14.20.


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