Stocks Hold Gains in Last Day of '18

Trade optimism has the Dow up triple digits

by Josh Selway

Published on Dec 31, 2018 at 12:02 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has pared some of its early gains, but was last seen holding in positive territory at midday. While stocks are set to close 2018 in the red for the first time in years, traders today are cheering optimistic tweets about U.S.-China trade relations from President Donald Trump. Meanwhile, reports just surfaced that House Democrats have prepared spending bills to end the government shutdown.

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

  • How Deutsche Bank's chairman helped its stock.
  • The FAANG stock higher on expansion rumors.
  • Plus, options hot on Facebook and Twitter; and two of the biggest movers today.

midday market stats december 31

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) are both seeing unusual options trading today. It looks like traders in both names are rolling out long call positions. For FB, there's been heavy activity at the February and March 155 calls, with new positions at the latter -- action that goes against the recent put preference. As for TWTR, the 37-strike calls in the same series are seeing similar activity.

One of the best stocks on the Nasdaq is Kewaunee Scientific Corporation (NASDAQ: KEQU), as the shares rally amid strong volume for a second straight session, up 12.9% today at $33.07. There doesn't seem to be any specific news behind the move. Looking back, the healthcare equipment provider hit a fresh low of $22 back on Dec. 12, but is set to take out its 200-day moving average today.

kequ stock chart

One stock trading notably lower today is B&G Foods, Inc. (NYSE:BGS). The shares have dipped 6.5% to trade at $28.01, set for their lowest close since early November. The frozen foods specialist is set to close 2018 down 20%.

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