Dow Jones Industrial Average Cautiously Higher; FANG Weighs on Nasdaq

2 Exploding Biotechs and The Drugmaker Up 500% in 2016

Nov 14, 2016 at 12:20 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has whipsawed across both sides of breakeven today, after earlier notching yet another new all-time high. However, the blue-chip index was last seen cautiously higher, on pace to extend its recent win streak, led by a Trump-inspired rally in bank stocks. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) continues to struggle against the faltering tech sector, with so-called "FANG" stocks resuming last week's slide. Oil prices also continue to fall, with December crude futures down 2.5% at $42.31 per barrel, amid fears of oversupply and a soaring dollar.

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Among the stocks with unusual volume at midday is investment stock KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR), which was reportedly among the firms in talks to buy Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc's (NYSE:VRX) iNova unit. KKR is currently trading up 2.7% at $15.13, with calls crossing the line at 20 times their average intraday pace, with over 18,000 traded, compared to a meager 290 puts. Options volume is on pace to notch an annual high, with nearly all of the activity related to a big sweep of June 16 calls.

Tech stock Mentor Graphics Corp (NASDAQ:MENT) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq today, currently up 18.7% at $36.42 -- just off an all-time high of $36.55 -- after news that German engineering firm Siemens will purchase MENT for $4.5 billion, or $37.25 per share. MENT is now up over 98% so far in 2016, supported by its 30-day moving average since mid-August.

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Biotech Dynavax Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ:DVAX) is among the worst performers on the Nasdaq today, trading 62.8% lower at $4.31, after an FDA rejection of DVAX's hepatitis B vaccine. Year-to-date, DVAX is now down 82%, and earlier touched a seven-year low of $3.20.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.8 point, or 5.4%, at 14.94.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.39, with puts leading calls. At last check, SPY was down 0.1%, or 0.1 point, at $216.31.

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