Stocks Climb as Rate Cut Prospects Increase

Strong GDP data and cooling inflation readings have stocks on the upswing again

Managing Editor
Jan 25, 2024 at 11:56 AM
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Stocks are enjoying another day of solid gains, this time thanks to an encouraging gross domestic product (GDP) reading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) briefly eclipsed 38,000 at its session highs, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are both heading toward a sixth-straight win. The strong GDP numbers, combined with the core personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index coming in 5.7% lower year-over-year, increases the chances of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve in March. 

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

  • IBM stock at 10-year highs after earnings.
  • Options bulls set a new floor for casino stock.
  • Plus, RIVN options traders reassess; AAL soars; and the defense stock to avoid. 

MMC Stats Jan 25

Rivian Automotive Inc (NASDAQ:RIVN) stock is getting blitzed by options traders today. At last check, over 124,000 contracts have changed hands, volume that's double the average intraday amount. The weekly 3/1 16-strike call is the most popular, but there are also new positions being bought to open at the weekly 1/26 15-strike put. RIVN is 4.4% lower to trade at $14.67, with Tesla's (TSLA) sales growth warning weighing on the electric vehicle (EV) sector. Year-to-date, RIVN has taken a 37% haircut. 

American Airlines Group Inc (NASDAQ:AAL) is one of the top stocks on the SPX today, last seen up 8.9% to trade at $15.17. The company's fourth-quarter earnings surpassed estimates, while the 2024 profit forecast also topped forecasts, thanks to strong demand for international travel. The report is giving a halo lift to sector peers United Airlines (UAL) and Delta Air Lines (DAL).  AAL is on track for its biggest single-day gain in over a year, and has added 50% off its Oct. 31 three-year low of $10.86. 

Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE:NOC) is near the bottom of the pile today, last seen down 7.5% to trade at $428.93. The defense stock reported a fourth-quarter loss due to a  $1.17 billion charge-off related to its B-21 development program with the U.S. Air Force. Vertical Research trimmed its price target to $462 from $514 in response. NOC has ceded its year-to-date and year-over-year breakeven levels with today's bear gap. Today's plummet looks even worse when comparing sector peer Textron's (TXT) big move higher yesterday.

MMC Stock Chart NOC


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