Oil Prices in Focus During Volatile Week

Wall Street watched for updates as world leaders met in Europe

Deputy Editor
Mar 25, 2022 at 3:11 PM
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It was a mostly back-and-forth week on Wall Street. Monday saw stocks snap their win streaks after comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell regarding interest rates. It appeared as though the pullback would be short-lived, as stocks again rose on TuesdayHowever, the rest of the week was quite volatile. Oil was a heavily watched commodity, with prices surging amid speculation that the European Union (EU) would join the U.S. in a Russian oil embargo.

Meanwhile, investors watched for updates as world leaders met to discuss the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Plus, initial weekly jobless claims came in at their lowest level in more than five decades. Oil prices took a breather on Friday, after news that the EU made a deal with the U.S. to bolster energy security for Ukraine and the EU over the next two winters, reducing the need for Russian oil and gas. At the time of this publication, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 were on track for second-straight weekly wins, while the Dow looked to turn in a loss for the week.

Options Traders Blitz Brand Names

There was plenty of interesting options activity this week. Put traders targeted Boeing (BA) after one of its 737-800 jets crashed, while call traders rushed Blackberry (BB) after a bull note. Elsewhere, Tesla (TSLA) made it to a list of stocks with the highest options volume in the past two weeks.

Nike's (NKE) positive post-earnings move gave the Dow a boost, with both options traders and analysts quickly chiming in. Call traders also eyed Altria (MO) after an upgrade, as well as Nikola (NKLA) following the electric truck maker's production update. Amid the frenetic rise of fertilizer prices, see how call traders nearly tripled their money off a Mosaic (MOS) options trade.

Sales Rumors, New Deals, and Drug Data

There were plenty of other names making headlines, too. Okta (OKTA) slipped after a digital security breach, while Switch (SWCH) cooled from its highs amid rumors of a potential sale. Meanwhile, Moderna (MRNA) released efficacy data for its two-dose Covid-19 vaccine for children under 6 years of age, and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) appointed three new board members. Elsewhere, Spotify Technology(SPOT) rose after Alphabet (GOOGL) updated its payment system

March Will End on a Busy Note

Next week is packed full with economic data, including the core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index, which is commonly known as the Fed's primary inflation gauge.

There will also be earnings reports from major companies including Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), BlackBerry (BB), Chewy (CHWY), Dave & Busters Entertainment (PLAY), Lululemon Athletica (LULU), Lovesac (LOVE), and Micron Technology (MU). In the meantime, keep tabs on these sectors as call traders seem to disappear, and brush up on a technical indicator giving bulls hope for the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX).


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