Retail Stocks DDS, TJX Make Pre-Market Moves

TJX will step into the earnings booth next week

by Josh Selway

Published on Aug 16, 2019 at 9:16 AM

Looking at this morning's stock market news, two names making notable moves are retailers Dillard's, Inc. (NYSE:DDS) and TJX Companies Inc (NYSE:TJX). Here are the numbers to know for the shares of DDS and TJX today.

DDS stock is generating headlines because of the company's earnings release, which is set to spark a massive sell-off. The security is trading down 15.4% before the opening bell, due to weak second-quarter sales. This would mark an eighth straight loss for the equity, and J.P. Morgan Securities is expecting more losses, dropping its price target to $37 from $54, saying that it sees more top-line weakness going forward.

This pre-market move would have Dillard's at nearly two-year lows, but many traders are well positioned to profit from the technical weakness. For starters, put buying doubled call buying in the last two weeks at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX). Moreover, short interest right now is the equivalent to 16.5 days' worth of buying power, based on average daily trading volumes.

Turning to TJX stock, it was upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Loop Capital, which also boosted its price target to $60 from $50. The analyst note suggested that off-price retailers could be a defensive play for many investors. Credit Suisse joined in with its own price-target hike to $60 from $56. Wall Street already loves the equity, with 14 of 18 covering brokerage firms handing out "strong buy" recommendations.

However, TJX Companies shares yesterday closed below the 320-day moving average for the first time since Jan. 3, struggling to move past the $55-$57 area that also market its late-2018 highs. Bearish options traders have been moving in, too, with the 10-day put/call volume ratio at the ISE, CBOE, and PHLX coming in at 1.34, and ranking in the 93rd annual percentile.

TJX is actually set to report earnings before the open next Tuesday, Aug. 20, but the shares historically haven't made very big post-earnings moves. Specifically, the stock has averaged just a 3.5% post-earnings swing in the past two years, though this time speculators are pricing in a 6.5% move for Tuesday's trading.

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