Stocks Hit Hard Over Global Economic Fears

Downbeat data out of China sparked selling in global stocks

Dec 14, 2018 at 12:03 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is sharply lower at midday, amid pressure from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The shares of the consumer products specialist are down on news the company was aware of asbestos in its baby powder products for years. 

Weakness in U.S. stocks is also attributed to concerns over the health of the global economy. Specifically, Wall Street is digesting weak economic data out of China, which is overshadowing news the Asian nation is suspending tariffs on imported automobiles. Like the Dow, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are each down roughly 1% today, but unlike the two former indexes, the latter remains set for a weekly win.

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

  • $1 billion news stops the bleeding for this logistics stock.
  • Goldman issued a conviction buy on Regeneron stock.
  • Plus, options traders adjust positions on JD stock; a soaring healthcare stock; and LASR shares blinded again.

midday market stats december 14

One name seeing unusual options trading is, Inc. (NASDAQ:JD). Nearly 10,000 March 30 calls have crossed, but all signs suggest traders are closing positions there. Also seeing notable attention is the January 2020 75-strike, where new positions are being opened. Anyone buying these calls would be betting on a massive rise in JD shares, which have been clobbered in recent months and were last seen at $22.58.

One notable winner today is healthcare provider Civitas Solutions Inc (NYSE:CIVI), following the company's strong fiscal fourth-quarter sales and upbeat full-year forecast. The shares were last seen trading up 14.5% at $14.45, on pace for their best day ever, but ran out of steam when they encountered their 200-day moving average -- a trendline that's acted as resistance in the past year.

civi stock price december 14

One stock struggling on the Nasdaq is laser components producer nLIGHT (NASDAQ:LASR). There's no specific news behind the stock's 11.1% slide, but the shares have for the most part been struggling in recent months, and today are flirting with their all-time low of $16.25 from October, last seen at $16.96.

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