Stocks Flat Despite Improving Consumer Sentiment

Investors are also unpacking upbeat existing home sales data

Digital Content Manager
Dec 20, 2023 at 11:46 AM
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Stocks are muted this afternoon, with both the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) trading near breakeven. The former's win streak is at risk, but the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) remains on track for a 10th-straight daily gain. Wall Street has plenty of economic data to unpack today, including a better-than-expected consumer confidence index reading of 110.7 for December, as well as upbeat existing home sales data.

  • Analyst: Retail stock warrants caution.
  • FedEx's quarterly miss draws options traders.
  • Plus, PTEN's bearish options surge; sector-wide tailwinds lift PTEN; and tech stock racing toward NYSE bottom.

MMC Stats 1220

Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc.(NASDAQ:PTEN) stock is seeing unusual bearish options activity today. So far, 19,000 puts have already crossed the tape, which is 16 times the volume that is typically seen at this point. The most popular contract is the February 9 put, where new positions are currently being opened. The security was last seen up 0.5% at $11.19, but is still struggling with pressure from its 20-day moving average. Patterson-UTI Energy stock also shed more than 33% in the past 12 months.

PTEN 20 Day

ZIM Integrated Shipping Services Ltd(NYSE:ZIM) is near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, up 10.6% to trade at $10.67 at last check. The stock is enjoying sector-wide tailwinds, amid attacks from Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen that led to shipment disruptions in the Red Sea. ZIM is on track for its best month in over two years, and has 25.1% of its available float sold short. For 2023, however, shares are down 37.2%. 

DXC Technology Co (NYSE:DXC) is competing with FedEx (FDX) for the bottom spot on the NYSE, last seen down 8.5% at $22.91. Today's bear gap comes amid a C-suite shakeup, with Raul Fernandez appointed as the company's interim president and CEO. The security is on track for its first close below the 40-day moving average since early November, and now carries a 14.7% deficit for this year.


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