Insider Activity: Encana (ECA)

One director buys over $250,000 in shares. One director is betting that shares of oil and natural gas production company Encana (ECA) have gotten oversold. Last week, director Bruce Waterman picked up 50,000 shares of the company for just over $5.00 per share, shelling out over $253,000. The purchase increased his stake in shares by 25 percent. Shares of the company have been declining in recent weeks, in line with falling oil prices. Shares of Encana have been more out of favor than other energy stocks lately due to its acquisition of Newfield Exploration earlier in the year. Large acquisitions tend to lead to a ...
Read More
|

Insider Activity: Conn’s (CONN)

Multiple directors buy at the regional retail firm. Three different directors have been buying shares recently in regional retail outlet Conn’s (CONN). Director James Haworth picked up 2,240 shares, shelling out nearly $40,000 to do so. Director Bob Martin picked up 26,600 shares, for a commitment of over $453,000. And director William Saunders bought 10,000 shares even, paying nearly $180,000. This kind of cluster of buys by directors is a solid sign. With only 125 locations in the South and Western United States, Conn’s operates as a specialty retailer of consumer goods and services. The company offers furniture, appliances, and electronics. Besides selling products, ...
Read More
|

Google Pays $2.6 Billion for Looker

Google dominates web searches but lags behind others in the cloud and big data space. Strategic acquisitions are alive and well in this market, as Google buys Looker Data Services in an all-cash deal. The company is in the business intelligence and big data space, and will now be part of the Google Cloud suite. During the last private equity round for the company, Looker was valued at $1.6 billion, so this represents a hefty premium of about 62 percent. In the cloud platform space, Google runs behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. This acquisition will help to narrow the gap. This ...
Read More
|

30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall to Two-Year Lows

Lower mortgage rates could spur refinances, boost housing market nationwide. With many investors focused on declining bond yields as a potential yellow flag for the economy, a few advantages are emerging for investors. Thanks to the drop in yields, borrowing costs are lower as well. For 30-year mortgage rates, the drop has gone from 4.5 percent one year ago to about 3.8 percent as of Thursday. The rate is close to all-time lows, and may entice refinancing activity. Most mortgages are eligible for refinancing, even those made as recently as 2018. The total value of such mortgages is over $2 trillion. Lower mortgage ...
Read More
|

Unusual Options Activity: Freeport McMoRan (FCX)

Big bet that copper mining giant will move at least 10 percent higher by early July. At least one trader is betting on a 10 percent pop in Freeport McMoRan (FCX) in the next month. On Thursday, nearly 5,900 contracts traded on July 5th $11 calls. With shares just over $10, they would need to rally nearly $1, or about 10 percent, for these calls to expire in-the-money. With a prior open interest of 102 in the contract before the trade, this is a big move. As a copper producer, Freeport is best-in-class. However, copper prices have been weak year-to-date, amidst trade war fears. In ...
Read More
|

Insider Activity: American Airlines (AAL)

Half a dozen insiders get bullish on American Airlines this week. Six different insiders bought near the recent market bottom for American Airlines (AAL). From the Chairman and CEO, to the company President to several Executive Vice Presidents, over $2.4 million in shares were bought by insiders on Tuesday, just before shares started rallying. The largest buy came from CEO Douglas Parker, who bought 50,000 shares, spending over $1.4 million alone. Based on the price he paid per share, he fared the worst among insiders so far. This type of cluster of insider buying is far more bullish than any one insider picking up ...
Read More
|

Oil Prices Slump on Inventory Build

Oil prices continue sliding into summer driving season. Crude oil prices dropped to five-month lows on Wednesday. This followed a report from the EIA showing that oil inventories rose more than expected last week. In total, inventories rose by 6.8 million barrels, compared to expectations for a 900,000 barrel decline. This build in inventory was in line with data released on Tuesday from the API, which also showed a rise in stockpiles. Oil prices tend to reflect energy demand. An inventory build suggests lower demand and a potential danger to the economy. Typically, oil prices rise in the late spring and summer in the ...
Read More
|

Markets Continue Gains Despite Soft Jobs Numbers

Unemployment fell to 3.6 percent, but jobs growth was slower than expected. Markets continued higher on Wednesday, adding to their gains from Tuesday. However, economic news was far from good. Payroll data came in weaker than expected, showing that the economy could be slowing down. Given the low rate of unemployment right now, however, slowing job growth could simply reflect an economy running at full speed. That kept stocks from selling off despite the headline payroll data. Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 263,000 in April, based on the data released Wednesday. Based on U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics, this job growth was enough ...
Read More
|