It was a bumpy session in the stock market today. Equities initially opened higher and rallied on Friday, but then sold off in the afternoon. Buyers were able to buoy equities off their lows going into the close, but they still ended down for the day.
All of this happens to come on a quadruple witching day.
Many investors may have been seeing or hearing this “quad-witching” term throughout today and wondering what it means. Simply put, it’s the simultaneous expiration of market index futures, stock futures, market index options and stock options.
It happens four times a year — In March, June, September and December — and while it’s not a huge event, it can create extra volatility. In the month of September specifically, it also tends to create a bit of weakness in the following week. While that doesn’t make it a guarantee, it is something to be aware of.
Helping matters, InvestorPlace’s Top Stock Trades took a close look at the SPY ETF on Friday, along with a few other red-hot stocks.
Movers in the Stock Market Today
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stock fell 1.5% despite the iPhone 11 going on sale on Friday. Demand seems solid for the latest device, even though many expect a 5G iPhone in 2020. It looks like significantly improved battery life, an improved camera and a few other lures are drawing in customers.
Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) stock raced higher by 11.7% following reports that the company is talking with an investment bank about exploring a sale. It also says that while Fitbit has not formally chosen to pursue a possible sale, private equity and perhaps Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) could be interested parties.
J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP) made headlines Friday, as it works with creditors to relieve some of its debt pressure ahead of the inventory-loaded holiday season. Even as shares ended the session up by 16.1%, it could not finish north of $1. Still, bankruptcy is not part of the discussion, apparently.
Heard on the Street
Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU) — also included in the Top Stock Trades column — took it on the chin today. It had its highest volume trading day ever, as shares fell 19.2%. At one point, the stock was down more than 22.5% on the day, as selling pressure crushed the stock.
While the Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) news from a few days ago isn’t helping matters, it’s an analyst rating that set the tone on Friday. No one seems to care that Guggenheim analysts raised their price target from $120 to $155. Instead, all anyone seems to care about is the “sell” rating that Pivotal Research initiated Roku with, complete with a $60 price target.
Micron (NASDAQ:MU) was also on the analyst list. JPMorgan maintained their “overweight” rating, but gave a big bump to their price target, from $50 to $65. The move implies about 30% upside from the stock’s prior close, as the analysts believe NAND demand is picking up.
Still, Micron fell over 1.3% on the day.