Starbucks stock retreated in heavy volume after a report suggested the coffee chain's growth may be losing some steam.» Read More
The entire retail sector is suffering in an unfavorable environment of shifting consumer demand, and as a result, for investors looking to bet on retail names the opportunities are few and far between, CNBC's Jim Cramer said.
"I'm searching for a period where apparel was this bad in this country," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" on Thursday. "What sticks out at you, whether it be Saks, whether it be Nordstrom, whether it be Macy's, Wal-Mart, whether it be Target—something happened. It's almost as if we've all decided to go to the thrift shop. Either that, or we're buying everything on Amazon."
(Related: Cramer: 'Giant reset' looming for markets)
"Apparel has stopped in this country. I've never seen this," he said. Cramer explained that many in the market are blaming a shift away from apparel to housing-related spending, which is supported by recent strength from companies like Home Depot and Lowe's.
Fortinet has drawn upside option activity several times in recent months, and the bulls came back for more yesterday.
More than 3,100 December 22 calls were bought for $1.25 to $1.40, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. Open interest in the strike showed just 256 contracts before the session began, so yesterday's action was fresh buying.
These calls lock in the price where traders can buy the stock no matter how far it might rise through mid-December. The options could be sold earlier at a profit if premiums gain with a rally before then, but the contracts could expire worthless if shares remain below $22.
Following a report that Google is in talks with the National Football League—likely to bid for rights to the popular "NFL Sunday Ticket" package—CNBC's Jim Cramer said that this could be a major turning point for the tech giant that could drive the stock price significantly higher.
The NFL Sunday Ticket package, which allows users to watch out-of-market regular-season NFL games, is currently provided by DirecTV, but the company's four-year contract with the league expires at the end of the 2014 season.
"The NFL is the most powerful brand in sports, maybe one of the most powerful brands in the world. … This would be huge for Google and they can write the check," Cramer said on "Squawk on the Street" on Wednesday.
"If Google moves in, this is going to change our perception of Google. I would buy Google up to $1,000 if they paid anything reasonable," Cramer said. "This would be the biggest game changer."
He added that he would "get rid of DirecTV tomorrow" if Google offered the NFL Sunday Ticket. "Why would I need DirecTV?" he asked. "This package really put DirecTV on the map. This is the story to follow."
"This would be remarkable," Cramer added. "I think that the cable companies would have to outbid Larry Page."
Cramer also questioned whether this is a turning point for Google, where the company would start charging its users for service, since a pay-for model is the only way to monetize the product.
"People will pay for football. We know that they will pay for football," he said.
Traders are looking for Forest Oil to rally after being trapped in an extremely tight range for the last month.
OptionMonster's tracking systems found heavy buying in the September 6 calls, which saw almost 3,000 contracts trade for $0.10 to $0.23 yesterday. Open interest in the strike was just 584 before the session began, indicating that new positions were established.
These long calls lock in a $6 purchase price for the stock for the next month no matter how far it might rise. But they could expire worthless if shares remain below that level through mid-September.
Spectra Energy has been a favorite target for bulls in recent months, and yesterday they returned.
OptionMonster's tracking systems found heavy buying in the December 35 calls, which saw more than 11,700 contracts trade yesterday. The action was led by blocks of 4,909 and 2,853 that went for $0.85 in volume well above the strike's previous open interest of just 499 contracts, clearly showing that these are new positions.
These calls lock in the price where traders can buy the stock through mid-December regardless of how far it might rise. The options could be sold earlier at a profit if premiums rise with a rally before then, but the contracts could expire worthless if shares remain below the $35 strike price.
A large trader is looking for Intel to rebound as it tries to hold onto a key technical level.
Intel was down 0.52 percent to $21.92 on Friday, the second consecutive close below its 200-day moving average. The chip maker gapped down from above $24 on July 18 after missing second-quarter estimates on weak PC sales, and the stock has continued to trend lower trending lower since.
OptionMonster's tracking systems detected the purchase of 13,000 September 25 calls for $0.03 and the sale of 13,000 September 19 puts for $0.02. So the trader is paying a penny to ride a rally through the long calls, but the short puts mean that he or she would be on the hook to buy shares around $19 if they fall below that level by expiration in mid-September.
Investors have flocked to packaged food stocks given their stable earnings and attractive dividend yields. But with stocks looking pricey and companies having cut back on marketing, there's risk that volumes could fall, says one analyst.
"What's unique about the packaged food space is year-to-date they've done really well because investors were looking for yield and because of a buyout of Heinz," Jefferies analyst Thilo Wrede told CNBC on Friday. "Those supports are starting to fade."
Fundamentals are also starting to get more challenging as the consumer outlook weakens. Over the past few years, the big packaged food companies have reduced marketing expenses as a way to protect their profitability against rising food prices.
With the Fed's taper plans looming, investors can expect more big declines after the latest market sell-off, but that could create opportunities for stock pickers, top strategists told CNBC on Friday.
"There is a lot of money that needs to be repriced and move into different places," Okada said. He also suggested that retail investors look into buying bank debt through ETFs or managed funds as broad economic factors improve.
Coal miners have been showing signs of life after getting hammered all year, and bullish traders are now focusing on Alpha Natural Resources.
More than 12,000 Sept. 7 calls traded in a strong buying pattern on Wednesday as prices doubled from 12 cents to 24 cents, according to OptionMonster's real-time tracking systems. The volume was well above the strike's previous open interest of 8,648 contracts, indicating that new positions were initiated.
These calls lock in a $7 purchase price for the stock through mid-September no matter how far it might rise, but they will expire worthless if shares remains below that level. Wednesday's action followed heavy short-term call buying in contracts that expired last Friday, which resulted in many trades that saw exponential gains.