Dow Edges Up; Gold Pops on U.S.-Iran Tensions

One Chinese ETF was targeted for a big bullish options trade

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 24, 2019 at 11:55 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is trading in positive territory at midday, boosted by strong gains for blue chips Goldman Sachs (GS) and Verizon (VZ). The intraday upside is modest, though, as traders take a cautious stance ahead of this week's G-20 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. And amid simmering geopolitical tensions between Washington and Tehran, gold prices are getting a lift. August-dated gold was last seen up 1.3% at $1,418.80 an ounce, trading near levels not seen since 2013.

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

  • Why one analyst expects a major sell-off for Spotify.
  • Behind Deere stock's latest pop.
  • Plus, a bullish options bet on big-cap Chinese stocks; BMY swings lower on Otezla news; and Western Digital trades near the top of the S&P.

midday market stats june 24

One name seeing heavy options trading today is the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (NYSEARCA:FXI), with roughly 90,000 calls on the tape so far, about three times what's typically seen at this point. By comparison, fewer than 5,100 puts have been traded. Trade-Alert highlights a block of 36,800 July 44 calls that was likely bought to open for an initial cash outlay of $1.41 million (number of contracts * $0.385 premium paid * 100 shares per contract). If this is the case, the call buyer's goal is for FXI shares to break out above $44 in the next few weeks. At last check, they were trading up 0.4% at $42.68.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) has swung to the bottom of the S&P 500 Index (SPX) today, after the drugmaker said it plans to divest Celgene's (CELG) psoriasis treatment, Otezla, as a means of gaining regulatory approval for regulatory for its plans to buy CELG. BMY stock is down 7.2% to trade at $45.78, set for its worst day since Jan. 3, when it gapped 13.9% lower.

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) is one of the top stocks on the S&P at midday. This comes after Cascend Securities issued a note on the chipmaker, saying it "may have been early" in its Feb. 22 upgrade of WDC to "buy," but "data reiterates this is the bottom for NAND." The tech shares were trading near $50 in late February, and more recently bottomed at a five-month low of $35.61 one week ago. Today, the shares are up 2.2% at $40.93, pacing for their fifth straight daily win.

wdc stock daily price chart on june 24


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