20K in Play as Dow Jones Industrial Average Flirts With Highs

30 Stocks to Sell Before Christmas; Plus, the Drugmaker That's Doubled

Dec 20, 2016 at 11:50 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) touched a record high of 19,987.63 earlier, as its quest for the 20,000 level continues ahead of tonight's earnings report from blue-chip stock Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE). The Nasdaq Composite (COMP) also jumped to an all-time high of 5,489.47 in morning trade, as telecom stocks flex their collective muscle. While it's relatively quiet on the data front, the Wells Fargo/Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index revealed a nine-year high in bullish sentiment, echoing another recent survey.

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midday market stats dec 20

Among the stocks with unusual options volume at midday is handset maker BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), with 22,000 contracts on the tape -- six times the typical intraday amount. Most active is the weekly 12/23 8-strike call, which is seeing buy-to-open activity. The bullish betting stems from BBRY stock's 3.6% surge to $7.99, following an earnings beat.

One of the worst performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is NeoPhotonics Corp (NYSE:NPTN), following dismal guidance and a subsequent series of bearish analyst notes. At last check, shares of the optoelectronics firm were down 10.7% at $11.15, and on the short-sale restricted list.

nptn daily dec 20

One of the top stocks on the Nasdaq is ACADIA Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:ACAD), surging 8.1% to $27.49. Boosting the drugmaker's shares is encouraging data from a mid-stage study on psychosis drug pimavanserin.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is off 0.02 point, or 0.2%, at 11.69 -- on track for its lowest close since Aug. 19.

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.21, with puts edging out calls. SPY was last seen up 0.8 point, or 0.4%, at $226.37.

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