U.S. Stocks Modestly Higher; Italy, Musk in Focus

Elon Musk's SEC lawsuit is dragging TSLA shares lower

Managing Editor
Sep 28, 2018 at 12:14 PM
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U.S. stocks are modestly higher in afternoon trading, erasing early losses thanks to a strong day for energy stocks. November-dated oil prices were last seen 1.7% higher at $73.38 per barrel. However, gains are likely being capped by growing concerns about Italy's budget and investor fears following the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) lawsuit against Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. Regardless, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are both pacing toward monthly gains, though the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is the only index eyeing a weekly win. Also continuing to maintain focus is the Senate Judiciary Committee's looming vote for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

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

Midday Market Stats Sept 28

Fiber optics concern Applied Optoelectronics Inc (NASDAQ:AAOI) is sporting unusual options volume today, after the company cut its sales guidance. So far,6,800 puts have changed hands -- eight times the norm. The soon-to-expire weekly 9/28 31- and 31.50-strike puts are most active, with buy-to-open activity detected. AAOI shares down 14.3% to trade at $24.31, at last check. The stock is down more than 40% in September, set for its worst month in at least 10 years.
 
Oil and drilling name Transocean LTD (NYSE:RIG) is near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, with the shares 3.4% higher at $14.27, after the company announced its contract extension for Petrobras 1000. RIG has been climbing the charts of late, after earlier this month bouncing on the supportive 320-day trendline. Over the past 12 months, Transocean stock has picked up 34%.
 
RIG with 320MA
 

Shares of Progress Software Corp (NASDAQ:PRGS) are down 15.7% at $35.88, sending the stock to the bottom of the Nasdaq today, after the company issued a weaker-than-expected full-year revenue outlook. PRGS is now trading pennies from its late-June annual low of $34.72. Progress Software stock is down 16% year-to-date and has landed on the short-sale restricted list.

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