Johnson & Johnson, China Data Weigh on Dow

The Dow is shaking off an upbeat day from Coca-Cola

by Patrick Martin

Published on Oct 18, 2019 at 11:54 AM
Updated on Oct 18, 2019 at 11:54 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is off at midday --- and was down triple digits at its session lows -- but is still clinging to what would be its second straight weekly win. The blue-chip index is shaking off a revenue beat from Coca-Cola (KO), and is instead being dragged down by Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ) baby powder recall and disappointing third-quarter growth data out of China.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are both in the red too, but headed for their second and third straight weekly wins, respectively. Elsewhere, although the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is eyeing its third straight daily win, Wall Street's "fear gauge" is still heading toward its third straight weekly loss.

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

  • The Dow stock downgraded ahead of earnings.
  • Analysts drubbed Gildan stock after dismal guidance.
  • Plus, puts popping on struggling OKTA; Credit Suisse downgrades retailers; and analyst sets a huge target for Chipotle.

Midday Market Stats Oct 18

One name seeing heightened options volume today is Okta Inc (NASDAQ:OKTA), with more than 7,000 puts crossing the tape so far -- double the average intraday amount, and volume pacing for the 99th percentile of its annual range. The most active option is the weekly 10/25 100-strike put, where new positions are being opened. The cybersecurity stock is down 5.1% to trade at $99.68 today, so options traders are betting on more struggles in the next five trading days, when the options expire. 

L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB) is near the bottom of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down almost 8% to trade at $16.64, after Credit Suisse issued a downgrade to "underperform" from "neutral." While trimming its price target to $14 from $22, the brokerage firm cited weak trends in the retail sector, warning of macro pressures this upcoming holiday season. LB is now trending near its Sept. 3 nine-year low of $15.82, with recent breakouts contained by its 40-day moving average.

MMC Daily Chart LB

The shares of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (NYSE:CMG) are up 2% to trade at $846.77, after receiving two price-target hikes, the highest coming from SunTrust Robiinson to $920 from $900. In addition, BofA-Merrill Lynch upgraded CMG to "neutral" from "underperform" ahead of earnings next week. The burrito chain has nearly doubled in 2019, and is a chip-shot from its Sept. 9 record high of $857.90.  


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