Dow Pivots Lower as Oil Prices Plummet

U.S.-China trade talk optimism originally boosted stocks this morning

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 11, 2019 at 12:14 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is modestly lower at midday, erasing early morning gains despite positive trade headlines from the weekend. Specifically, reports of a possible mid-March meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping helped the Dow start strong, but rough outings from Disney (DIS) and Pfizer (PFE) have caused the blue-chip index to pivot lower. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) have managed to stay in the black, though, while oil prices are plummeting, with March-dated crude futures down 1.9% at $51.72 per barrel. 

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

  • The options market is expecting another big earnings move for Under Armour stock.
  • Twilio stock earned another bull note ahead of earnings.
  • Plus, options bears bet on more struggles for OSTK; Hertz stock pops; and ATVI gets a pre-earnings price-target cut. 

Midday Market Stats Feb 11

There's notable options activity surrounding blockchain concern Overstock.com Inc (NASDAQ:OSTK). More than 4,600 puts have changed hands, four times the average intraday amount and volume pacing in the 97th percentile of its annual range. Most of that action is centered at the February 17 put, where it looks like new positions are being purchased. OSTK is down 9.5% to trade at $18.44 today, but has still gained 50% year-to-date.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:HTZ) is one of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, up 6.4% to trade at $16.69. Earlier today, Goldman Sachs double upgraded fellow car rental stock Avis Budget (CAR) to "buy," but left its "sell" rating on Hertz. HTZ has gained 20% year-to-date, and appears to have found a floor near the $13.50 level. 

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) is down 5% to trade at $41.39, and earlier fell to a two-year low of $40.25. Last week, Bloomberg reported the company will trim its work force after reporting earnings tomorrow night, and this morning, Benchmark slashed its price target to $68 from $87. ATVI has shed 9% now year-to-date, and a rally earlier in 2019 was stymied by its 50-day moving average. Nevertheless, some options bulls are still anticipating a bounce tomorrow.

MMC Daily Chart ATVI


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