Dow Pulls Back; Nasdaq Hits a New High

Blue-chip earnings are weighing on the Dow

by Patrick Martin

Published on Jul 24, 2019 at 11:58 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is taking a breather today, down triple digits as the latest batch of blue-chip earnings reports disappoints. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are cautiously in the black, with the latter fresh off a new record high, as chip sector gains outweigh the scrutiny FAANG stocks are receiving amid news of a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) broad antitrust review.

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

  • Caterpillar stock is contributing to the Dow's struggles today.
  • Why UPS stock is eyeing its best day in years.
  • Plus, call traders eye quick FireEye bounce; Sprint stock soars on T-Mobile merger approval reports; and higher medical costs drop Anthem.

Midday Market Stats July 24

FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE) is seeing accelerated options trading today. More than 14,000 call options have traded -- nine times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and seven times the number of puts on the tape. Most popular by far is the weekly 7/26 15.50-strike call, where new positions are being purchased. At last check, FireEye stock was up 1.5% to trade at $15.60, so traders are banking on bigger gains through the end of the week, when the options expire.

Near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Sprint Corp (NYSE:S), up 7.3% to trade at $7.60, after reports that the proposed merger with T-Mobile (TMUS) will likely be approved by U.S. regulatory agencies. An announcement could come as soon as tomorrow. Sprint stock is headed toward its fourth straight win and highest close since October 2017. 

Despite reporting better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue, Anthem Inc (NYSE:ANTM) is near the bottom of the S&P 500 today, down 4.2% to trade at $290.60. That's because the health insurer's benefit expense ratio worsened year-over-year thanks to challenges in the Medicaid business. Despite today's bear gap, ANTM seems to have found a cushion at its 40-day moving average, a trendline that caught a pullback back in June. 

MMC Daily Chart ANTM

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