Stocks Mixed as Trump Talks Trade Progress

XLNX is trading sharply lower after its CFO stepped down

Patrick Martin
Sep 20, 2019 at 11:58 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is slightly higher at midday, propped up by encouraging U.S.-China trade rhetoric. In addition to releasing a list of exempted Chinese goods, President Donald Trump told reporters that the U.S. is "making a lot of progress" on a trade deal -- with these moves suggesting to some that the administration is attempting to mitigate the ill effects of tariffs on the economy.

Elsewhere, investors are digesting news that the White House ordered sanctions on Iran's central bank and sovereign wealth fund following last weekend's Aramco strikes, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin writing, "Iran’s brazen attack against Saudi Arabia is unacceptable" in a statement. Iran has denied responsibility for the strikes.

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

  • 2 energy stocks making volatile moves.
  • One analyst thinks Roku stock is still overvalued.
  • Plus, options traders react to XLNX C-suite news; PCG sinks on reorganization plans; and L Brands stock resumes its strong September.

Midday Market Stats Sept 20

Xilinx, Inc. (NASDAQ:XLNX) is seeing unusual options volume today, with 44,000 options on the tape so far -- five times what's typically seen at this point in the session. The bulk of the action has centered at the September 97.50 call, where it looks like new positions are being purchased. XLNX is down 5.4% to trade at $97.98 today on news that Chief Financial Officer Lorenzo Flores is stepping down -- accompanied by a BofA-Merrill downgrade to "neutral" -- and is on pace to close below $100 for the first time since late January. 

PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG) stock is near the bottom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 6.5% at $11.44. The wildfire victims in the company's bankruptcy are set to present a $24 billion reorganization plan, funded with $12 billion in cash and $12 billion in shares. Today's drop has PCG on track to snap a three-day winning streak that carried the stock right into its 30-day moving average, a trendline not conquered on a daily closing basis since early July.

MMC Daily Chart PCG

L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) is one of the better stocks on the S&P 500 today, up 2.1% to trade at $19.10. Today's rally has LB -- a historical outperformer in September -- on track to snap a three-day losing streak. The retail stock is up 15.7% so far this month.


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