Stocks Drift Lower Despite Looming Weekly Wins

Oil prices are the big winner today

Managing Editor
Jan 12, 2024 at 12:02 PM
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It's a choppy end to the trading week on Wall Street, as investors weigh bank earnings and the latest inflation data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is off triple digits midday, but not before hitting a record high out of the gate this morning. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) were last seen marginally higher, but also pared gains from the open.

All three major benchmarks are headed for their first weekly win of 2024. Elsewhere, oil prices are on the rise, with February-dated crude last seen up 3.1% at $74.22, as the U.S. hits back at the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. 

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

  • A lot to like about this newly upgraded chip stock.
  • Options traders pile on UnitedHealth stock.
  • Plus, uranium stock in focus; MRO leads oil sector; and airline stock in the gutter.

MMC Stats Jan 12

Call traders are swarming Cameco Corp (NYSE:CCJ) stock today. CCJ was last seen up 7.7% at $50.25 -- one of the best stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) -- with uranium miners up across the board after Kazakhstan's Kazatomprom announced potential production cuts. At last check, 73,000 calls have traded hands, volume that's five times the average intraday amount. The January 53 call is the most popular, with positions being bought to open. CCJ earlier hit a 17-year high of $50.69, and is up 96.5% year-over-year, with its 80-day moving average containing recent pullbacks.

MMC Stock Chart CCJ

Marathon Oil Corp (NYSE:MRO) stock is near the top of the SPX today, last seen up 1.4% at $23.26. The energy concern is brushing off price-target cuts from J.P. Morgan Securities and Benchmark to $32 and $25, respectively, and instead relying on sector tailwinds. The oil and gas sector is on the rise today, as the U.S. responds to Houthi rebels in Yemen. MRO is off 15.2% in the last 12 months. 

United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) is near the bottom of the SPX, along with sector peers American Airlines (AAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL). UAL is down 8.8%  at $40.59, weighed down by Delta's downwardly revised fiscal year profit forecast. While UAL had bounced off its Oct. 27 52-week lows of $33.68, the airline stock -- down 20.7% year-over-year -- had run straight into a historically bearish trendline


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