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 price...
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When Stock Investors Get it Wrong

When you buy shares of a company, you’re getting an ownership slice. If the company does well, your shares should rise. The company may even pay a dividend, providing you with cash you didn’t have to labor over for a living. Sounds great! But, a company is more than just the sum of its shares. Companies have a capital structure, which includes a mix of stocks (called equity), and other types of financing, typically debt. Nearly all companies have debt. Some debt, relative to the stock value, is fine. It’s a lot like the mortgage on your home—borrowed money that lets the company do th...
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Unusual Options Activity: Las Vegas Sands (LVS)

A big, bearish trade implies more downside for the casino from here. At least one trader is betting on a big decline in casino firm Las Vegas Sands (LVS). On Tuesday, a large number of contracts traded on a December $40 put option. With shares currently trading around $55, which implies a 25 percent decline in shares between now and the end of the year for the put option to pay off like a winning slot machine. The contract had over 1,360 trades, against an existing volume of just over 200 contracts. Shares of the casino have traded as high as $81 in the past year. A slowdown in...
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Fed Chief Calms Markets

Federal Reserve officials gave markets a huge boost Tuesday with bullish comments. Markets surged higher over 2 percent on Tuesday, fueled by comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Speaking at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, he stated that the Fed is prepared to "act as appropriate to sustain the expansion." The comments also revolved around trade war fears that could put a lid on trade and economic growth, using the old standby phrase "We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the U.S. economic outlook." Markets, how...
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Unusual Options Activity: Facebook (FB)

Traders are betting that Facebook shares will bounce after Monday's decline. Some traders are betting that shares of Facebook (FB) are oversold. The social media giant sold off with the other tech giants on Monday on news that the FTC will look into the company. Shares fell over 8 percent. However, some traders see the move as too much, too soon, and expect shares to potentially move higher from here, with bets on options expiring at the end of this week on June 7. With shares around $171 thanks to the selloff, a surge in call option buyers at the $170, $172, and $175 strike pr...
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Manufacturing Grows, But at a Slower Pace

Manufacturing grows in May, albeit more slowly than expected. The ISM Manufacturing Index showed that the economy continued to expand. This is the 111th month in a row that the index has shown growth, with little sign of an overall economic slowdown. However, with a reading of 52.1, the number came in below expectations of 53.0. In the prior month, the index read 52.8. The index is measured with a center of 50. Numbers under 50  indicate a decline, and numbers over 50 indicate growth. 11 of 18 manufacturing-related industries reported growth in May. The index is built out...
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Insider Activity: Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH)

Insiders are picking up shares at the cosmetics company. Multiple insiders at Sally Beauty Holdings (SBH) have been adding shares in recent days. Chairman of the Board Robert McMaster picked up 5,000 shares, shelling out over $73,000 of his own money to add to his take. CFO Aaron Alt bought 1,500 shares, paying over $22,000 to add to the cosmetic supply company. On top of that, CEO Christian Brickman bought 5,000 shares for nearly $75,000 as well. This is a nice cluster of corporate insiders. The CEO, Chairman and CFO are typically the best informed about a company and its f...
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Tech Stocks Hit on Regulatory Concerns

Tech giants face increased scrutiny from the FTC and DOJ. Tech stocks traded weakly on Monday, weighing markets down. This comes on the heels of a report that Amazon (AMZN) faces increased antitrust scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. At the same time, Alphabet/Google (GOOG) also looks to be facing a closer inspection from the Justice Department. With no specific allegations dropped about either company yet, uncertainty is rising for both companies as a result. Amazon has been called a monopoly by some, however, even in its best-known market of online retailing, it has ...
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This Could Be The Best Trade For Netflix

The story does sound exciting, “Yes, nearly 35 million households have “cut the cord” on cable and about half of all Americans aged 22 to 45 watched zero hours of cable TV last year; all while Netflix’s stock value has shot up 8,300 percent since 2009,” according to InsideHook.com. Variety, an entertainment industry news site, reports that part of the company’s is due to its spending on original spending which is large, “Netflix’s binge-spending on content isn’t expected to slow down. The streamer spent a whopping $12.04 billion in cash on content last year, up 35% from $8.9 billi...
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Buy this Blue Chip Bargain

There are a lot of ways to make money in the market. But even if you find that rare company that can move ten-fold and provide one of the best profits of your lifetime, that will take time. Most investors get impatient. There are far more investors interested in companies like Amazon (AMZN) today, now that it’s proven its profitability. But even if you invested in the company back when shares were far cheaper, chances are you wouldn’t have taken the full ride. Instead, you would have cashed out and left a huge chunk of potential profits on the table. Rather than try and find the next...
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