Stocks Inch Higher, Gold Nears Record Highs

Oil is on the rise today thanks to a surprise drop in U.S. inventories

Deputy Editor
Jul 29, 2020 at 12:17 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is slightly higher at the midway mark, up around 85 points as investors await a congressional hearing regarding antitrust in Big Tech. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also up, in anticipation for the Fed's latest interest rate decision. A statement will be released at 2 p.m. ET, and a press conference with Fed Chair Jerome Powell will follow. It is expected that the central bank will leave interest rates unchanged near zero. 

Oil prices are higher, too, thanks to an industry report showing that U.S. inventories fell against expectations. At last check, crude for August delivery is up 0.6% at $41.29 per barrel. Meanwhile, August-delivered gold is up 0.3% at $1,950.10 per ounce -- just shy of yesterday's record high of $1,980.57.

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

  • LB is having its best day in months after adjusting its second-quarter sales forecast.
  • Options traders are thirsty for Starbucks stock.
  • Plus, American Eagle options are flying off the shelves; a government loan agreement sends KODK soaring; and disappointing drug data soured Alector stock.

Midday Market Stats July 29

One stock seeing ample activity in its options pits is American Eagle Outfitters Inc (NYSE:AEO). Over 12,000 calls and 2,252 puts have exchanged hands -- four times the intraday average and volume pacing for the 99th percentile of annual readings. Most popular is the August 10 call, where new positions are being opened. The equity was last seen up 8.2% at $10.60, though it still suffers a 28.6% year-to-date deficit. 

After being awarded a $765 million government loan to produce ingredients for generic drugs in the U.S., the shares of Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE:KODK) nearly than quadrupled. The stock is one of the best performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), last seen up 279.3% at $30.12. KODK hit a record high of  $60 earlier, and now boasts an astounding 1,127.1% year-over-year lead. Additionally, KODK is set to close above its 180-day moving average -- a previously resistant trendline -- for the second day in a row.  

KODK Chart July 29

Meanwhile, one of the bottom performers on the Nasdaq is Alector Inc (NASDAQ:ALEC), last seen down 18.1% at $17.47, after presenting data from a mid-stage study of its experimental dementia treatment, AL001. Though the treatment was generally well-tolerated, investors are concerned over disruptive effects of COVID-19 on the study. The stock is now looking at a year-over-year loss of 20.5% and trading at eight-month lows.


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