December 16, 2018

Triple witching tomorrrow

Index & Sector performance 12/19/13

The Market:

Today trading range was rather tight after yesterday’s explosion with the entire day’s range in the S&P 500 only about 9 points.  Tomorrow will be options expiration and a Triple Witching which can come with some volatility.

In economic data today we sub a much worse than expected Unemployment claims number come in at 379K when 366K was expected.  Other key data also underperformed expectations with Existing Home Sales missing expectations (4.9M vs. 5.04M) and Philly Fed Manufacturing Index (7 vs. 10.3).  Tomorrow we get GDP and Monday 12/23 we have Core PCE, Personal Spending and Income as well as University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment and Inflation Expectations.

Making News:

Facebook (FB) filed to sell 70M shares with Mark Zuckerberg providing slightly over 41M of those shares.  The company did not lay out any plans for their portion of the proceeds so don’t be surprised to start seeing “who will Facebook buy” stores and segments.

ConAgra (CAG) saw solid gains in today’s trading after beating both EPS (62c vs. 55c) and revenue ($4.71B vs. $4.63B).  CAG also provided 2014 EPS projections which were higher than analyst expectations ($2.34-2.38 vs. $2.33).

Darden (DRI) announced plans to either spin off Red Lobster to shareholders or entertain and outright sale of the restaurant chain.  The company announced further plans all aimed at restructuring the business and driving shareholder value including dividends and repurchase programs.

The following noteworthy companies are scheduled to report earnings before tomorrow’s open: WAG, BBRY, FINL, KMX, NAV

Analyst Comments:

Upgrades 12/19/13

Downgrades 12/19/13

Initiations 12/19/13

Price Target Changes 12/19/13

The Game Plan:

Not much changed in the overall picture after a tight consolidation day after a rocket off the 50 day SMA.  One thing worth noting is that tomorrow is a triple witching which can come with some intraday volatility and there is also the potential for the week after a triple witching to be a light week without much action.  For the bulls this could play out well if they can use that as a consolidation week to prepare for a next leg higher.  $1785-95 remains key short term swing support on the long side.

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