Nike, Trade Worries Drag Stocks Lower

The U.S. and Canada are expected to resume trade talks tomorrow

Managing Editor
Sep 4, 2018 at 12:01 PM
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U.S. stocks are lower at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) down as Nike (NKE) drags on news the athletic apparel retailer included controversial NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in its latest ad campaign. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also lower, as caution sets in ahead of tomorrow's trade talks between the U.S. and Canada.

However, markets have come off their earlier lows thanks to a strong Institute for Supply Management manufacturing survey, which hit its highest mark since May 2004 last month. Elsewhere, October-dated oil prices are up 0.5% at $70.12, as Tropical Storm Gordon nears the U.S. Gulf of Mexico coastline.

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

Midday Market Stats Sept 4

One stock seeing unusual options activity today is Southwest Airlines Co (NYSE:LUV). LUV is up 0.9% at $61.85 at last check, with roughly 16,000  calls -- compared to 2,352 puts -- on the tape so far. The weekly 9/28 60-strike call is by far the most active, with 10,129 contracts traded, the bulk of which appear to be seeing buy-to-open activity. The airliner has been recovering from its late-2017 to mid-2018 slide, picking up 21% over the past three months alone -- and is one of the best stocks to own in September

Electric utility concern PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) is at the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, continuing its recent leg higher after Evercore ISI upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "in line," and hiked its price target by $2 to $52. The shares are up 4.5% at $48.29, at last check, but are trading near familiar resistance in the key $48 region -- and have historically been one of the worst stocks to own in September.

Daily Chart of PCG with Highlight

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today is Conn's Inc (NASDAQ:CONN), after the retailer reported its second-quarter results. Despite hitting a three-year high of $42.65 out of the gate and boasting a year-over-year gain of 90%, CONN is down 9.6% at $37.05, at last glance.


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