Nasdaq Up on Tech Earnings; Dow, S&P Waffle

Trade comments from Wilbur Ross have the Dow lower

Deputy Editor
Jan 24, 2019 at 12:07 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has spent time on both sides of breakeven today, but was last seen lower, following comments made by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross regarding U.S.-China trade relations. In addition, traders remain anxious about the government shutdown, with Senate votes on a pair of bills expected to fail. Elsewhere, comments from European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi on an expected slowdown in eurozone economic growth are fueling fears about the health of the global economy. However, the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is higher this afternoon, thanks to positive earnings reports out of the chip sector

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

  • Caution flags are flying ahead of Caterpillar earnings.
  • The lung cancer setback weighing on this pharma stock.
  • Plus, one trader's pre-earnings bet against PAH; the tech stock up on an IKEA deal; and an earnings miss for Briggs & Stratton. 

Midday Market Stats Jan 24

Platform Specialty Products Corp (NYSE:PAH) is seeing notable options activity today. So far, about 9,700 puts have changed hands -- roughly 40 times the average intraday pace. The February 10 put is by far the most popular, with a block of 8,124 contracts exchanged earlier. According to Trade Alert, it appears one speculator bought to open the puts, expecting PAH shares to drop below $10 before the contract's expiration, which encompasses the company's expected earnings release on Monday, Jan. 28. At last check, PAH shares are up 1.7% to trade at $11.09. 

Blink Charging Co (NASDAQ:BLNK) is one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq, on news that IKEA will be incorporating three of the company's electric vehicle charging stations into its Norfolk store. The equity is now trading near its October breakout, and is set to close above its 120-day moving average for the first time since August. The stock is up 19.5% at $2.69, at last check.

BLNK Chart Jan 24

One of the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE:BGG), after the company's fiscal second-quarter earnings fell short of analysts' expectations, and it lowered its full-year guidance. BGG is now pacing for its its worst day ever. The stock is down 16.6% at $11.42, and just touched a nearly 10-year low of $11.34. 

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