Consumer Sentiment Turns the Table for Stocks

May's consumer sentiment reading was the best in 15 years

by Josh Selway

Published on May 17, 2019 at 11:53 AM

U.S. stocks have overcome early losses, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) erasing a triple-digit decline thanks to another round of bullish economic data. Today it's consumer sentiment that's bringing buyers back to the table, with the University of Michigan index jumping to its highest point in 15 years in May. This update has helped the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) pare their losses, despite the latest batch of downbeat trade headlines this morning. The retail sector in particular is outperforming, with Under Armour (UAA) standing as the top SPX stock so far following an analyst upgrade. 

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

midday market stats may 17

Digging into UAA's move today, the athletic apparel stock is trading up 6.5% at $23.30, putting it on pace for its highest close in months. J.P. Morgan Securities this morning upgraded its rating to "outperform" from "neutral," and hiked its price target to $29 from $23, citing a promising meeting Under Armour management. The move is good news for recent options traders, since the 10-day call/put volume ratio at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) comes in at 1.85, ranking in the top quartile of its annual range.

uaa stock chart

One of the best stocks today is supercomputer expert Cray Inc. (NASDAQ:CRAY), thanks to news Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co (NYSE:HPE) will buy the company in a deal valued at $1.3 billion. As such, CRAY stock, which had already been on the rise after news of a government contract last week, is trading up 18% at $35.18.

One of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq is Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU), after the Chinese search engine's ugly quarterly update. BIDU shares have shed 13% to trade at $133.80, earlier bottoming at an almost four-year low of $128.56. The stock is down 52% year-over-year.

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