Nasdaq Win Streak in Doubt as Stocks Take a Breather

Wall Street is shrugging off reported U.S.-China trade talk progress

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 21, 2019 at 12:12 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pulling back today, down triple digits amid pressure from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and a round of dismal economic data. Among the onslaught of data points are existing home sales, which plunged to a three-year low in January, and the IHS Markit flash manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI), which fell to 53.7 last month, the lowest reading since late 2017.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also firmly in the red, with the latter on track to snap its eight-day winning streak. Today's struggles come despite reports the U.S. and China are starting to outline the commitments of a potential trade deal. 

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

  • What Zion Williamson's shoe rip means for Nike stock.
  • Wall Street braces for more Electronic Arts stock volatility.
  • Plus, options bulls have lofty goals for Sprint stock; HTZ enjoys halo lift; and FCX pulls back. 

Midday Market Stats Feb 21

Options volume is accelerated on Sprint Corp (NYSE:S). Over 13,000 call options have changed hands, 10 times the average intraday amount and more than five times the number of puts traded. Nearly all of the action is centered at the March 7 call, which is possibly being purchased for a volume-weighted average price of $0.10. If this is the case, breakeven for the call buyers at March options expiration is $7.10 (strike plus premium paid). Sprint stock is up 1.7% to trade at $6.42 at last check, but has not traded above $7 since late 2017.

Hertz Global Holdings Inc (NYSE:HTZ) is up 9.5% to trade at $18.88, one of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today. The car rental name is enjoying a halo lift from sector peer Avis Budget (CAR) and a positive reaction to its fourth-quarter earnings beat. Since bouncing off a familiar floor in the $13 area to start 2019, HTZ has gained 38%. 

On the other end of the spectrum is Freeport-McMoRan Inc (NYSE:FCX), down 2.8% to trade at $13.07. The copper stock is taking a breather after a three-day winning streak, but is still set for its fourth straight weekly win. The recent surge is attributed to a string of bull notes, although that momentum appears to have been stalled at the shares' 200-day moving average.

MMC Daily Chart FCX

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