Dow Falls as Manufacturing Data Adds to Trade Fears

Tech stocks continue to get crushed

May 23, 2019 at 12:00 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is lower again as the trade picture seemingly gets murkier by the day. With concerns swirling about U.S.-China trade talks, or lack thereof, the tech sector is getting hammered, while the energy space is also struggling during a sell-off in oil prices. July-dated crude was last seen down 5.2% at $58.20 per barrel, falling alongside equities in part because the IHS Markit's manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI) for the U.S. fell to its lowest level since 2009 in May.

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

midday market stats march 23

There's unusual put trading on Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) today, as some bears bet a quick retreat. New positions are opening at the weekly 5/31 73.50- and 74-strike puts, which expire at the close next Friday, May 31. SBUX stock was last seen trading down 0.7% at $76.72, still holding near last week's record high of $79.65, with a year-to-date gain of roughly 19%.

On the surface, retail stock L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) is one of the best performers today, up 15.5% at $24.84. The owner of Victoria's Secret and Bath & Body Works reported a surprise quarterly profit, driven by strength at the latter business. However, LB stock's long-term pattern is certainly still to the downside, as it hit a roughly nine-year low of $21.47 just yesterday.

lb stock chart

NetApp Inc. (NASDAQ:NTAP) is one of the worst stocks on the Street today, down 13.1% at $58.77, on weak quarterly earnings. NTAP also gapped lower after earnings in February, though it quickly recovered to touch a near-term peak just below $80 in mid-April. Options traders may have made out well with this price action, as there was unusual put buying on the security in previous days at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX).

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