Trump Trade Tweets Have Dow Eyeing Highest Close Since October

Trump extended the March 1 tariff deadline with China

by Patrick Martin

Published on Feb 25, 2019 at 12:11 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up over 167 points at midday, on track for its highest close since Oct. 9, after U.S. President Donald Trump's tariff tweet said the March 1 trade deadline with China has been extended. POTUS also tweeted about a potential upcoming meeting between the leaders of the two countries at Mar-a-Lago.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also higher and gunning for their best closes since Nov. 7 and Oct. 17, respectively, as the latter enjoys a strong day from chip stocks with high exposure to China. Elsewhere, oil prices are pulling back after POTUS tweeted, "Oil prices are too high," telling the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to "please relax and take it easy." At last check, April-dated crude futures were down 3.6% at $55.18 per barrel.

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

  • This Dow stock made it to Wedbush's "Best Ideas" list.
  • The deal that's sparked a big day for General Electric stock.
  • Plus, pre-earnings options bulls bet on Macy's; Aphria stock pulls back; and WDC enjoys sector tailwinds.

Midday Market Stats Feb 25

Options volume is accelerated on Macy's Inc (NYSE:M). Nearly 42,500 options have changed hands, five times the average intraday amount and volume pacing in the 92nd percentile of its annual range. The weekly 3/1 26.50-strike call is one of the most popular options so far today, and it looks like speculators are buying to open the calls to bet on more upside through this Friday's close. Macy's stock is up 1.7% to trade at $24.48, and the department store will report fourth-quarter earnings before the open tomorrow, Feb. 26. 

Aphria Inc (NYSE:APHA) is down 5.2% to trade at $9.73, one of the worst stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, although the catalyst is unknown. The cannabis producer has been red-hot lately, adding 79% year-to-date already. And despite today's pullback, the shares appear to have found support once more at their 20-day moving average.

MMC Daily Chart APHA

On the other end of the spectrum is Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC), up 5.2% to trade at $52.08, one of the top stocks on the S&P 500 today. The chipmaker is enjoying broad sector tailwinds thanks to the positive U.S.-China trade headlines. WDC has added 54% since its Dec. 26 bottom of $33.83, and more recently gapped higher in the wake of upbeat 2019 guidance.

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