Microsoft Buyback, Upbeat Economic Data Push Dow Higher

The S&P is within striking distance of a new record high

Karee Venema
Sep 19, 2019 at 11:49 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is higher at midday, with Microsoft (MSFT) stock the best of the blue chips amid buyback buzz. Stocks are also reacting to upbeat economic data -- namely, an unexpected rise in existing home sales in August, and a slimmer-than-forecast decline in the Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing index. Investors are keeping an eye on D.C., too, where U.S.-China trade talks are underway. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are gaining ground alongside the Dow, with the latter within striking distance of its late-July record high.

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

  • Analyst: Cloud stock correction creates trading opportunity.
  • U.S. Steel stock downgraded after dismal third-quarter guidance.
  • Plus, Macy's blasted by options bears; the Chinese stock near the top of the Nasdaq; and another big surge for Navistar.

midday market stats sept 19

Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) is seeing unusual options volume today, with nearly 36,000 puts on the tape so far -- eight times what's typically seen at this point, and almost 11 times the number of calls traded. The bulk of the action has centered at the October 15 put, where it looks like new positions are being purchased. M stock's rebound following a dismal August was halted at its 32-day moving average, with the retail shares down 1.2% today at $16.07.

China Biologic Products Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:CBPO) stock is near the top of the Nasdaq today, up 10.6% at $114.12, and fresh off a two-year high of $115.74. The Beijing-based biopharmaceutical firm received a $120 per-share offer to be taken private by a consortium of buyers that already own a combined 58% stake in CBPO.

Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) is one of the best stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, gaining 7% to trade at $31.08. The truck maker's currently hosting its annual investor day, and announced plans to build a new plant in Texas. It's been a strong month for NAV stock, thanks in part to an earnings-induced rally on Sept. 4 -- but it's now staring up at its 200-day moving average, which kept a lid on the shares in April and May.

nav stock daily price chart on sept 19


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