Stocks Erase Early Lead as Tech Sector Swoons

Weaker-than-expected ADP payrolls data was released this morning

Managing Editor
Sep 6, 2018 at 12:03 PM
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Stocks are lower at midday, with the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) once again suffering the steepest loss on the back of an extended tech sell-off -- with chip shares bearing the brunt of the selling pressure. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has also erased early gains as FAANG stock Apple (AAPL) and newly downgraded energy name Chevron (CVX) vie for worst blue chip today. Not to be outdone, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is at risk of a third straight loss following this morning's release of ADP's weaker-than-expected private-sector payrolls report.

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

  • Analyst: This FAANG stock can rally another 30%.
  • Weed stock slammed with bear note on valuation worries.
  • Plus, puts are hot on MRVL before earnings; the alternative energy name near the top of the Big Board; and the retailer gapping below a key trendline.

Midday Market Stats Sept 6

One stock seeing unusual options activity today is Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:MRVL). The tech name is down 0.9% at $20.29 to test its 320-day moving average -- a trendline that's been a buy signal in the past. Options traders seem to be gearing up for the chipmaker's second-quarter earnings report, which is slated for release after the market closes this afternoon. Roughly 15,000 puts -- compared to 6,000 calls -- are on the tape so far, 20 times the average intraday pace. The weekly 9/7 20-strike put is most active, with more than 10,000 contracts traded -- the bulk of which are likely being bought to open.

Daily Chart of MRVL with 320 MA

One of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Argan, Inc. (NYSE:AGX), after the renewable energy services company last night reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings. AGX is up 10.6% at $42.80, at last glance, breaking above resistance at $42, and on track to close above its 200-day moving average for the first time since mid-November.

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today is Lands' End, Inc. (NASDAQ:LE), after the retailer reported a wider-than-expected second-quarter loss. The shares have gapped 13.4% lower to trade at $21.70 -- on track for their worst day since Sept. 26, 2016 -- falling below the supportive 120-day moving average. Regardless, the sell-off is being contained at LE stock's +10% year-to-date return.


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