Insider Activity: Harvest Capital Credit Corp (HCAP)

CEO & 10% owner adds to stake. On Wednesday, August 28th, Joseph Jolson picked up 6,394 shares of Harvest Capital Credit Corp (HCAP), where he serves as director and already has an ownership stake with more than 10 percent of the shares outstanding. The purchase came to nearly $63,000, and increased his stake in the company by 0.85 percent. Year-to-date, insiders have been buyers of shares at the company, almost exclusively by Jolson, but there has also been one buy from the company’s CEO. The last insider sales occurred in November 2018, at a price 10 percent higher than where shares trade. Harvest ...
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Mortgage Rates Steady Near 3.5 Percent

Lower interest rates improve home affordability. The latest data in the mortgage market from the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market show that 30-year fixed rates remain near 3.5 percent, near historic lows. The combination of a strong labor market and the Fed’s first interest rate decline in 11 years are likely to keep rates near this level for some time. Although rates crept up three basis points in the past week, mortgage rates are generally a full percentage point below rates one year ago. Low interest rates allow homebuyers to afford a larger home for the cost of their monthly payment, or to ...
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Unusual Options Activity: MetLife (MET)

Traders bet on rally by March. On Thursday, over 5,000 contracts traded on March 2020 $50 call options on MetLife (MET). With a prior open interest of 224 contracts, the volume was 22 times the prior open interest, making for one of the most active options trades of the day. With shares around $44, the bet is on a $6 upside by March, about 13.4 percent higher from here, in the next 203 days before expiration. MetLife provides insurance, annuities, employee benefits, and runs an asset management business for individuals and companies around the world. Action to take: Insurance companies tend to have stable, ...
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Sign of Trade War Tension Easing Fuels Market Rally

Stocks rally on hopeful trade comments. The stock market posted strong gains on Thursday, following an announcement from a Chinese commerce ministry official who indicated that the Chinese government would not immediately respond to the latest round of tariff hikes from the United States. The move led investors to conclude that China was looking to ease tensions, rather than escalate the trade war further, following rounds of belligerent comments from both sides in the past. The comments led to a large move higher in global markets, with trade-sensitive sectors leading the market higher. The market’s recent rally has unwound the entire market drop ...
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Unusual Options Activity: Freeport McMoRan (FCX)

Traders bet on further drop in shares by February. On Wednesday, over 15,000 contracts traded on February 2020 $8 put options on Freeport McMoRan (FCX), one of the world’s leading copper giants. With an open interest of around 1,000 contracts prior to the trade, the volume in the option has surged 15-fold. Shares of the copper mining company currently trade around $8.80, making the $8 strike price on the put option a bet on the share price dropping at least 10 percent from here. Although best known for copper, Freeport also explores for gold, silver, molybdenum, and even oil and gas around the ...
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Crude Oil Inventory Sees Large Drop Despite Record Production

Decline in reserves five times larger than expectations. EIA petroleum inventories for the week indicated a sharp drop in inventory of 10 million barrels. With a 2.7 million drop in the prior week and with a consensus for a 2 million barrel decline, the decline was five times larger than expected. Gasoline saw a 2.1 million barrel decline, against expectations for a 0.4 million barrel decline. Last week, gasoline inventories rose by 0.3 million barrels. Distillates dropped by 2.1 million barrels, nearly offsetting the inventory gain of 2.6 million barrels last week. This was also in stark contrast to expectations for a 0.9 ...
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Insider Activity: Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB)

Director $116,000 buy at regional bank. On Tuesday, August 27th, director Scott Toothaker picked up 5,371 shares of Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB). The buy increased his stake by 22 percent, to just over 29,500 shares. The purchase totaled just over $116,000. Insiders at the bank have been buyers year-to-date, with many purchases occurring at prices as much as 18 percent higher than where shares currently trade. The last insider sale occurred in 2018, but has been far lower than the total insider buys year-to-date. Bar Harbor Bankshares operates as a regional bank with over 48 locations in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It ...
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Deutsche Bank Sees Short-Term Rally In JetBlue (JBLU)

Bank sees several near-term catalysts for higher share prices. On Wednesday, Deutsche Bank released a bullish rating on airline firm JetBlue (JBLU). The bank cited several short-term catalysts on the company, whose shares are down 13 percent in the past six weeks. The bank specifically cited the company’s valuation, which is now less than 7 times earnings expectations for 2020, and well below the company’s historic 10-year forward PE average of 10.4 times earnings. Deutsche has also cited the company’s strong balance sheet, market position, and cost controls to deal with the volatility of the airline space. Analysts tracking the airline firm are ...
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