Markets Decline as Powell Speaks

Chairman's comments send stocks down. The stock market dipped slightly on Tuesday. Speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell had the biggest opportunity to move the market. His comments slightly pulled back from the dovish views expressed in recent weeks, enough to send markets down in afternoon trading. He also commented on the need for the Fed to remain independent of politics. While the Chairman was speaking, St. Louis Federal Reserve President Jim Bullard, a far more dovish member of the central bank, noted that “it seems like a ...
More

Unusual Options Activity: Delta Airlines (DAL)

Airline carrier may see big drop in shares. A large bet has been made that shares of Delta Airlines (DAL) will drop in the coming months. On Tuesday, nearly 3,000 contracts of the December 2019 $45 put options traded. With shares of the airline around $56.50, this is a bet on shares dropping by 20 percent between now and the end of the year. The airline industry has fared well lately, and oil prices have been slow to rally into their usual summer season pattern this year. The trade could be a bet on slower economic growth, which tends to impact travel and tourism more heavily than...
More

Unusual Options Activity: Fastenal (FAST)

Hardware and construction equipment company may be in for a big drop. A large bet has been made that shares of Fastenal (FAST) will decline 25 percent by January 2021. On Monday, over 2,000 contracts of the January 2021 $25 put options contracts had been traded, against an open interest of 142, representing a 14-fold surge in volume. This bet, with shares currently at $32.50, would need to see shares decline at least 25 percent before paying off. With Fastenal’s business in construction and manufacturing supplies and equipment, the company is a solid way to bet for global growth. ...
More

Insider Activity: NGM Biopharmaceuticals (NGM)

Another biopharma firm sees insider buying here. Insiders in the pharma and biotech space continue to be bullish near current prices at many companies. The latest insider buys in the space occurred at NGM Biopharmaceuticals (NGM). Column Group LP, already a major owner with more than a 10 percent stake, bought another 34,000 shares late last week. These buys were shown as going to director Peter Svennilson. Director David Goeddel also picked up shares late last week as well. It’s always refreshing to see large buys by insiders that already have a huge stake in a firm, rather tha...
More

Sales Surge as McDonald’s Moves to Fresh Beef

Fast food giant has roaring success with new policy. While many companies have been quick to embrace plant-based meat alternatives, McDonald’s (MCD) has seen sales soar as it made a different move: from frozen beef to fresh beef. One year ago, the company made the switch on its quarter pounder burger, and sales have risen by 30 percent. The company has even gained market share in the “informal eating out” category, a huge move for the fast food giant. To undertake the move required getting suppliers on board with new packaging and refrigeration equipment, as well as extensive em...
More

Insider Activity: Associated Capital Group (AC)

Billionaire owner adds to beaten-down research firm. Billionaire investor Mario Gabelli bought 3,544 shares of Associated Capital Group (AC) on June 20th. This doubles his personal share stake, but Gabelli is also Executive Chairman and owns more of the company through his Gabelli funds. The New-York based company was founded in 1976 by Gabelli as an institutional research firm based on bottom-up research and generating market-beating returns. Shares of the firm have traded between $32 and $46 in the past year, and currently trade around $35. Although the company has had negativ...
More

Unusual Options Activity: Barrick Gold (GOLD)

Traders bet on a gold decline. After gold hit a 5-year high, one trader is betting on a pullback. On Friday, a bearish bet was made on Barrick Gold (GOLD). On Friday, over 7,100 contracts of the November $14 put options contracts had been traded, against an open interest of 155, representing a 46-fold surge in volume. This bet, with shares currently at $15.40, would need to see shares decline at least 9 percent between now and November to move in-the-money. Gold can be a volatile asset, and gold mining stocks tend to fare even worse. Many gold mining companies saw their shares d...
More

Overstock Shares Rally on Plan to Sell Retail Operations

Company to focus on blockchain technologies. Shares of online retailer Overstock (OSTK) railed over 15 percent on Friday, following comments from CEO Patrick Byrne. Byrne has been looking to sell the company’s core retail business, and indicated that two potential acquirers have stepped forward. Byrne is looking to sell the company to focus on another trend: Cryptocurrency. Byrne sees retail as too competitive and challenging, but the rapid growth opportunities in blockchain technologies are wide open. Founded in 1999, Overstock has struggled with profitability. Byrne expects th...
More

S&P 500 Index Hits All Time High

Stocks, gold, and oil all surge higher Thursday. Markets made another run at all-time highs on Thursday. The S&P 500 index hit new highs during intraday trading. The move shrugged off geopolitical events, such as Iran’s shooting down of a U.S. drone, in a clear escalation of conflict between the two countries. Bullish earnings and some big public offerings helped send markets higher, but stocks moved off their highs as President Trump made belligerent comments regarding Iran. The real push came following Wednesday’s Fed meeting, as nearly 80 percent of traders surveyed now see...
More

Unusual Options Activity: Snapchat (SNAP)

Traders bet on rise in social media company. A bullish bet is being made that shares of Snapchat (SNAP) will continue to rally in the next few weeks. On Thursday, over 11,700 contracts of the July 12th $15.50 call options contracts had been traded, against an open interest of 106, representing a 110-fold surge in volume. This bet, with shares currently at $14.70, implies that shares will rally by at least 5.4 percent in the next month. Shares of the social media giant have been rallying in recent weeks along with the rest of the market. Shares hit a 52-week high of $15 per share i...
More