Dow Sinks on Global Economic Concerns, Housing Data

The IMF cut its economic growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020

by Lillian Currens

Published on Jan 22, 2019 at 12:11 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is more than 185 points lower on concerns surrounding the global economy. Specifically, China reported its slowest economic growth in 28 years, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its growth forecast for this year and next. Adding to that, traders are digesting disappointing data from the National Association of Realtors, with existing home sales falling to a three-year low in December. Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) revenue forecast also continues to drag down the Dow, while oil prices are weighing on energy stocks. At last check, front-month crude futures were down 3% at $52.19 per barrel. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are each more than 1% lower, while the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- or Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- has popped 8%. 

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

  • The 2 active wear names sprinting ahead on analysts' upgrades. 
  • The tobacco stock going up in smoke after a downgrade. 
  • Plus, the airline stock attracting pre-earnings options players; a penny stock skyrocketing; and EDIT stock sinks on a CEO exit. 

Midday Market Stats Jan 22

American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) is seeing notable options activity today, ahead of Thursday's earnings report. Currently, about 48,000 calls and 45,000 puts have changed hands -- roughly five times the average intraday pace. The March 33 put and March 34 call are by far the most popular, with symmetrical blocks of 38,000 contracts traded. According to Trade Alert data, the speculator sold the puts to buy the calls -- a bullish strategy before earnings. At last check, AAL shares are down 1.2% to trade at $33.52. 

Staffing 360 Solutions Inc (NASDAQ:STAF) is one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today, after the recruitment agency renewed its contract with a top client, British American Tobacco. STAF is set for its best day since July 9, when the equity quadrupled on plans to buy London's Clement May.  The stock is up 31.9% at $2.70, at last check, and set to topple its 400-day moving average for the first time since that spike.

STAF Chart Jan 22

The worst performer on the Nasdaq today is Editas Medicine Inc (NASDAQ:EDIT), on news that CEO and President Katrine Bosley is set to resign in March, making her the second March resignation this year. Last month, CFO Andrew Hack announced plans to step down on March 1. The biotechnology name is down 21.2% at $20.48, at last check.

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