Dow Drifts Lower After Chile Cancels APEC Summit

The Fed's interest rate decision is due at 2 p.m.

by Patrick Martin

Published on Oct 30, 2019 at 11:59 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is drifting lower at midday, as investors react to news that Chile has canceled the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting for next month, where President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to meet and possibly sign a "phase one" trade deal. Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said he canceled the summit due to protests.

But for now, all eyes are trained on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) interest rate decision, due at 2 p.m. ET, where a 25-basis-point cut is widely expected. Wall Street will also be eager to digest Fed Chair Jerome Powell's press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET, which could provide clues about future monetary policy.

And as if that's not enough, there's also the advanced reading on gross domestic product (GDP), which showed the U.S. economy grew by 1.9% in the third quarter, topping expectations of 1.6% growth. Private payrolls also grew by more than expected in October, according to data from ADP.

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

  • GE's earnings beat sparked heavy call trading today.
  • Analyst: Dump this retail stock ahead of the holiday season.
  • Plus, put traders target Kohl's; Johnson & Johnson's baby powder news; and YUM collapses after earnings miss.

Midday Market Stats Oct 30

One name seeing heightened options volume today is Kohl's Corporation (NYSE:KSS), with nearly 11,000 put options crossing the tape so far -- nine times the average intraday amount and volume pacing for the 95th percentile of its annual range. The weekly 11/22 55-strike put is the most popular, with a block of 4,500 contracts likely bought to open. The retail stock was last seen down 4% to trade at $51.73, and earnings are expected on Nov. 19, so options traders aren't expecting much from KSS in the coming weeks.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is pacing the Dow today, up 2.5% to trade at $132.38. Under pressure earlier this month amid a baby powder recall, the company today announced new tests showed no asbestos in its products. Today's push higher takes JNJ back above its year-to-date breakeven level. 

Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE:YUM) is one of the worst stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, down 9.7% to trade at $98.76. The fast food chain reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that fell short of estimates, due to poor investment returns in delivery firm GrubHub (GRUB) and weak sales growth out of its KFC and Pizza Hut units. This is pacing to be YUM's worst single-session drop since October 2015, and takes the shares below their 200-day moving average for the first time since August 2018.

MMC Daily Chart YUM

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