Stocks Turn Higher in Volatile Session

All three indexes are on track to snap four-day losing streaks

by Patrick Martin

Published on Dec 26, 2018 at 12:06 PM

In the wake of Monday's historic Christmas Eve sell-off, stock market volatility has flared up once more, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) exploring a 366-point trading range on both sides of breakeven so far. After hitting a fresh 15-month low earlier, the blue-chip index was up triple digits most recently, on track to snap a four-day losing streak. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also pacing for their first win in five sessions, as oil prices surge. At last check, February-dated crude is 6.1% higher to trade at $45.13.

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

  • Options bears have been piling on Intel stock lately.
  • Amazon stock gets a boost from record holiday sales.
  • Plus, CI options trader eye bigger gains; Chesapeake Energy stock bounces; and Symantec stock bear signal proves reliable.

Midday Market Stats Dec 26

Cigna Holding Co (NYSE:CI) is seeing unusual options volume today, with more than 6,100 calls traded so far -- eight times what's typically seen at this point, and volume pacing in the 98th annual percentile. Leading the charge is the January 2019 195-strike call, where new positions are being purchased. At last check, CI was up 1.7% to trade at $181.01, so options traders are clearly banking on a bigger rally from the healthcare stock in the new year.

Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) is near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, up 7.8% to trade at $1.86. The energy stock may be rallying with oil prices, but whatever the reason, the rally is much needed. CHK fell to a nearly two-year low of $1.71 on Monday, and has faced pressure from its descending 20-day moving average since mid October.

MMC Daily Chart CHK

On the other end of the spectrum is Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC), down 2.2% to trade at $17.60. The cybersecurity name flashed a bearish signal last week, and bottomed at a new two-year low of $17.43 earlier. Year-to-date, SYMC has shed nearly 38%.
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