Stocks Choppy As Oil Prices Perk Up

All of that early morning market optimism has faded, with stocks struggling for direction midday. After paring a positive open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) sits modestly lower at last check, alongside the S&P 500 Index (SPX). Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is holding onto slight gains. Energy stocks are the big winners so far today as oil prices break out again, with front-month crude last seen up 2.5% at $92.62 per barrel. 

MMC Stats Sept 27

Peabody Energy Corp (NYSE: BTU) is seeing a surge in call trading today, with 12,000 calls changing hands, volume that's three times the average intraday amount. Positions are being bought to open at the weekly 9/29 25- and 25.50-strike calls, while the weekly 10/6 26-strike call is also popular. The coal stock is 6.6% higher to trade at $24.91 after price-target hikes from Jefferies and B. Riley to $27 and $32, respectively. The security is trading at its highest level since April 20 and has toppled resistance at its 200-day moving average.

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MMC Stock Chart BTU

It's no surprise that oil and gas stock Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) is scaling the SPX today, last seen up 3.1% at $42.05. The energy sector is up across the board as oil supply tightens and prices rise. HAL is 7.1% higher in 2023 and boasts a 77.4% year-over-year lead. 

Meanwhile, NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE) stock was last seen 5.5% lower to trade at $61.68 and earlier fell to a three-year low of $61.61. The electric utility concern, which buys and manages contracted clean-energy projects, trimmed its long-term guidance as it predicted no growth equity until 2027 amid the high interest rate environment. NEE is now down 26.8% this year.

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