Stocks Pare Losses But Trade Tensions Weigh

President Trump tweeted that China will "always change the deal"

Managing Editor
Jul 30, 2019 at 11:51 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was down more than 150 points earlier, but has pared its losses at midday, thanks to solid earnings reactions from Procter & Gamble (PG) and Merck (MRK) stocks. Still, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are firmly in the red amid renewed trade tensions with China. Hopes for a trade deal took a hit after President Donald Trump attacked China on Twitter, saying the country will "always change the deal in the end to their benefit."

Investors are also monitoring the start of the two-day Fed meeting, which should culminate tomorrow with a quarter-point rate cut. Supporting a dovish policy is the latest personal consumption expenditures (PCE) index, which rose just 0.1% in June. The Fed-watched core PCE index, meanwhile, increased a year-over-year 1.6%, below the central bank's 2% target. 

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

  • Beyond Meat stock eyes worst day since June.
  • CBD buzz has this penny stock popping.
  • Plus, Halliburton options traders load up on calls; record highs for Chegg stock after earnings; and Ralph Lauren issues a grim sales forecast.

Midday Market Stats July 30

Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) is seeing accelerated options trading today. More than 39,000 calls have traded -- six times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and nine times the number of puts traded. Most of this action is centered around the September 22.50 call, where new positions are being opened. HAL is trading at $22.23, at last check, so options traders are eyeing a renewed push higher from the energy stock in the coming months.

One of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange today is Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG). The shares are up 10% to trade at $45.95, and earlier nabbed a record high of $48.22, after the education company's second-quarter earnings and revenue exceeded analyst expectations. Already, no fewer than six brokerages have issued price-target hikes, the highest coming from Craig-Hallum to $55. 

On the other end of the spectrum is Ralph Lauren Corp (NYSE:RL), down 3.8% to trade at $107.34. While the retailer's second-quarter earnings and revenue topped estimates, the company warned that North American sales will be under pressure for the rest of 2019 due to a tough retail environment. Breakouts this summer have faced stiff resistance at the 160-day trendline, and RL today is clinging to its year-to-date breakeven level.

MMC Daily Chart RL

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