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 inflatio...
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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 so...
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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 n...
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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. Wit...
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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 und...
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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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Chewy Goes Public, Shares Rally From IPO Price

Online pet retailer adds to list of companies going public this year. Online pet product retailer Chewy (CHWY), went public on Friday, adding to a full calendar for companies making their debut on market exchanges this year. Shares were initially sold at $36 per share, after being priced at $22 just before launch. The company raised about $1 billion in the IPO, and the launch price gave the company an $8.8 billion valuation. Chewy is controlled by privately-held PetSmart, but has no crossover with their brick-and-mortar stores, leaving Amazon as their biggest competitor in online ...
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Consumer Sentiment Slides, Missing Estimates

Tariff fears weigh on customers this month. Consumer sentiment missed estimates for the month of June. Sentiment came in at 97.9 against a consensus of 98.4, and a prior reading of 100.0. The index is centered around the number 100, with numbers over 100 showing increasing confidence. Numbers below 100 indicate declining confidence. Year-over-year, sentiment has declined 0.3 percent. In April, 8 percent of respondents on the survey made unfavorable references to tariffs. In the June survey, that number had risen to nearly 20 percent. This may explain why sentiment reversed ag...
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Insider Activity: Chico’s FAS (CHS)

Two insiders buy at clothing retailer. On June 13th, two insiders picked up shares at Chico’s FAS (CHS). These buyers include SVP & General Counsel Gregory Baker, who picked up 2,000 shares, paying nearly $7,200 to do so. Director Kimberly Tofalli bought 14,000 shares, shelling out just under $51,000. An executive and director buy around the same time is a solid sign that shares are undervalued. It’s as stronger buy signal than just one purchase. Chico’s is a specialty retailer of women’s private branded clothing and accessories. It does business under Chico’s, White Hous...
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Oil Tankers Under Fire, Crude Rises Two Percent

Two tankers torpedoed in Gulf of Oman. Crude oil prices rose on Thursday, following attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The Gulf is close to the Strait of Hormuz, where more than 30 percent of the world’s oil shipments pass through. Both tankers reported heavy damage and had their crews were evacuated. The vessel Front Altair was on fire, but afloat, denying rumors that the vessel was sunk. With no organization taking responsibility for the attacks as of yet, rumors are running rampant. The event was enough to send oil prices about 3 percent higher on the day, and...
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