European Central Bank Hints at Stimulus

Europe's central bank hints at more stimulus; stocks rally Stock futures rose, and markets had one of their best days of the year on Tuesday, following news out of Europe. Mario Draghi, head of the European Central Bank (ECB), hinted that the bank would be likely to cut interest rates and start re-purchasing assets in the coming months to stimulate economic growth. These purchases would be similar to the quantitative easing (QE) done by the Federal Reserve in the past. The comments came at a conference in Portugal, where Draghi pointed out that Eurozone growth is low, and inflation expectations remain muted. Recent inflation ...
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Insider Activity: Encana Corp (ECA)

CEO, director continue to buy shares as oil languishes. Insiders have already been buying at oil and gas exploration firm Encana (ECA), but continue to pick up shares near current prices. On June 14th, CEO Douglas Suttles picked up 5,000 more shares of the company. And on Monday, June 17th, director Suzanne Nimocks picked up 10,000 shares. This ongoing type of buy is a pro move. Most individual investors can buy a stake in a company with one buy order. But making repeated buys, particularly at this size, ensures that the market price for shares stays stable. The timing looks solid in the short-term ...
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Facebook Unveils Crypto Plans

Social media company looks to enter money and payment space. Social media giant Facebook (FB) released plans for its cryptocurrency on Tuesday. Called Libra, the open-source digital currency is set to launch in the first half of 2020. The currency will allow customers to send money around the world at no cost. Libra members include Visa and PayPal, among other payments companies, and already has support of tech companies like Lyft and Uber. While Facebook announced the development of the currency—and has been hinting at it for months—the actual management of Libra will be by a non-profit association. Facebook will launch a new ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Alibaba Group (BABA)

Traders bet on Chinese e-commerce giant ahead of G20 meeting. A large bet is being made that shares of Alibaba Group (BABA) will jump about 5 percent higher in the next month. On Tuesday, over 5,300 of the July $175 call options options had been traded, against an open interest of 133 options. This bet, with shares currently at $168, implies that shares will move higher by around 5 percent within the next month. The trade is most likely a way for traders to bet on a favorable outcome (or at least favorable comments now) regarding trade between China and the United States. With ...
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Homebuilding Confidence Slips this Month

Survey measures first drop of 2019. Home builder confidence dropped slightly for June, with a NAHB Market Index reading of 64, against a 66-reading last month, and a consensus expectation of 67. The Housing Market Index (HMI) is based on a survey of home-building members and is designed to get a read on the market for single-family housing. It asks respondents to rate market conditions for the sale of new homes now and into the next six months. The index is designed to range between 0 and 100, with a read of 50 as neutral. Numbers under 50 indicate an expectation for declining ...
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Insider Activity: Universal Insurance (UVE)

CEO a repeat buyer of shares near current prices. On June 14th, CEO Sean Downes picked up 3,000 shares of his company, Universal Insurance (UVE). But this isn’t his first buy in recent weeks. On June 11th, he picked up 2,500 shares. And on May 28th, he picked up 10,000 shares, all right around current prices. Overall, he has increased his stake slightly to 1.43 million shares. Universal Insurance is an integrated holding company that offers residential homeowner’s insurance, renter’s fire, as well as other policies as well. With a focus on high return on equity and solid underwriting, shares have done very well over ...
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Sotheby’s Agrees to Go Private

Iconic auction house gets a $3.7 billion bid. Auction house Sotheby’s (BID) signed a deal to be acquired by BidFair USA on Monday. This will take the company private at a price of $3.7 billion, or $57 per share. That is a 56 percent premium from where shares closed last Friday. The deal still puts shares of the auction house just short of its 52-week high. The privately-held BidFair is controlled by billionaire media entrepreneur Patrick Drahi. Sotheby’s has been private before, and went public 31 years ago. The firm has been in operation since 1744, and became the first international auction house ...
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Unusual Options Activity: CNX Resources Corporation (CNX)

Traders make big bet on continued decline in natural gas. A large bet is being made that shares of CNX Resources (CNX) will fall at least 30 percent between now and January. On Monday, over 44,000 $5 January 2020 put options had been traded, against an open interest of 100 options. 0This bet, with a $5 strike against a share price of about $7.20, indicates a 31 percent downside in the next six months. The trade could certainly play out profitably for traders. As a natural gas explorer and producer, the current months are the weak season for demand, and recent winters have been ...
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