U.S. stocks are lower at midday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), and S&P 500 Index (SPX) all trading below breakeven. Much of the pullback can be accredited to Apple stock, which is down after reports surfaced of lackluster shipments for the iPhone X. On the flip side, retail stocks are higher after the Mastercard SpendingPulse report pointed to the biggest year-over-year increase in holiday sales since 2011, while energy stocks are rallying with oil prices. In the wake of a pipeline explosion in Libya, February-dated crude futures are up 2.2% at $59.78 per barrel.
Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:
- The Trump-friendly ETF putting support to the test, per founder and CEO Bernie Schaeffer.
- 2 semiconductor stocks sinking with Apple.
- Plus, J C Penney’s unusual options volume; the retailer at new highs; and the biotech suffering a dip.
Among the stocks with unusual options volume is retail concern J C Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP), with roughly 29,000 puts traded — four times the average intraday norm, and pacing for the 95th percentile of its annual range. The weekly 12/29 and January 2018 3.50-strike puts are among the most active for JCP, with Trade-Alert pointing to buy-to-open activity. At last check, J C Penney stock was up 9% to trade at $3.41, as retailers rally on reports of solid holiday sales.
One of the top performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Kohl’s Corporation (NYSE:KSS), alongside its sector peer JCP in a post-Christmas department store boost. The retail stock was last seen up 5% to trade at $56.16, and is just off a fresh annual high of $56.64. The stock has picked up more than 46% over the past six months, and is on pace for its best month since November 2016.
One of the worst performers on Nasdaq is drug stock Miragen Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MGEN). MGEN stock has dipped 12.6% to trade at $9.12, with no clear catalyst behind the drop. Despite this fresh loss, Miragen Therapeutics stock has gained more than 85% over the past 12 months, and last week rallied into its 200-day moving average.
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