Recession Worries Send Bulls Packing

BIIB stock is bracing for its worst weekly performance since 2005

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 22, 2019 at 1:28 PM
Updated on Mar 22, 2019 at 1:41 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pacing for a weekly loss, which will mark its third in the past four weeks. A modestly bullish start to the week, which resulted in a "golden cross," was quickly halted as a dovish Fed sent big-cap bank stocks spiraling, while Nike's (NKE) post-earnings plunge -- a move not expected by options traders -- and disappointing economic data from overseas only exacerbated the selling pressure on the blue-chip index.

A rare inverted yield curve has the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) pacing for weekly declines, too, with the former surrendering a key technical foothold. Heading into Friday's trading, both indexes were sporting comfortable week-to-date leads, as well-received M&A buzz for Nvidia (NVDA) and a positive earnings reaction for Micron (MU) underscored tech sector strength, and Apple (AAPL) stock continued its red-hot price action ahead of the tech titan's March 25 event.

Big Tech Winners

Tech stocks were the big winner on Wall Street. In addition to NVDA, MU, and AAPL, some other standouts included Apple suppliers Qorvo (QRVO) and Lumentum Holdings (LITE) -- both of which received bullish analyst attention. Plus, Alphabet (GOOGL) unveiled its cloud gaming platform, Electronic Arts (EA) popped on "Battlefield V" buzz, and PayPal (PYPL) extended its record-setting run.

Retail Earnings Hits and Misses

Retail earnings hit the Street hot and heavy this week. Embattled Lumber Liquidators (LL) kicked things off on Monday with a post-earnings beating -- though the shares have since recovered, and are heading for a weekly win. Guess? (GES) stock also got blasted after earnings -- slicing through a key trendline along the way -- while Hibbett Sports (HIBB) shorts got crushed on its earnings reaction.

Biogen Makes Waves

Biogen (BIIB) made major news this week, when the firm halted a pair of late-stage Alzheimer's disease drug trials -- putting the stock on track for its worst week in 14 years. Olive Garden parent Darden Restaurants (DRI) was also in the spotlight following its earnings beat. And while a word of warning from KeyBanc knocked GrubHub (GRUB), a scathing short seller report leveled the shares of this fellow food delivery name.

Best Stocks for Straddles; GDP on Tap

Traders will get more updates on the U.S. economy next week, with an onslaught of data -- including the final reading on fourth-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) -- and Fed speeches on tap. In addition, this indicator shows which team bulls should be cheering for in the Big Dance, while these have been the best stocks for straddle trades in recent years.


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