Trade Headlines Push Stocks Toward Another Positive Week

The retail sector was home to heavy options trading throughout the week

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 18, 2019 at 1:29 PM

U.S. stocks rose this week thanks to upbeat trade developments, including Friday's bombshell report that China has offered to increase its U.S. imports over the next six years. Earlier in the week traders got a huge dose of earnings out of the financial sector, with mixed reactions throughout. At the time of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are all easily rolling to their fourth straight weekly win.

Heavy Options Trading on SIG and LULU

The retail sector in particular saw some heavy options trading this week. Lululemon Athletica's (LULU) upbeat outlook sparked heavy call activity, and put traders made a killing off Signet Jewelers (SIG). Fossil (FOSL) stock also saw unusual options activity after the company struck a deal with Google, and it was M&A hopes that had speculators looking at Skechers (SKX).

Traders also took aim at Netflix (NFLX) before earnings, only to see the streaming giant pull back afterwards. More broadly, FAANG stocks actually had a solid week, thanks to tech sector tailwinds. Even Chinese tech stocks got in on the action, though another C-suite exit hit Snap shares.

2 Chip Stocks Analysts Say to Buy

Analysts were also making moves in the semiconductor sector, telling investors to put their trust in these two chip stocks. On the flip side, these two stocks were struck with downgrades. IT specialist Akamai Technologies (AKAM) got a vote of confidence from Morgan Stanley, and UBS likes this energy giant. Another interesting note came from RBC, which thinks the shutdown could hurt Aimmune Therapeutics. Jefferies, meanwhile, reiterated its small-cap growth pick.

Loads of MLK Week Data

As for the upcoming week, markets will be closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but the shortened week will stay have plenty of corporate earnings reports that could move stocks. And of course, we pinpointed some of the best and worst stocks to target for the week.

As for other individual names, this healthcare name could be one to watch for bulls, as could Starbucks, while bears should consider these two retailers. More broadly, we discussed how the volatile start to the year could play out, and why year three of Trump could be extra bullish.

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