Dow Jones Industrial Average Lags on Oil; Biotechs Boost Nasdaq to New High

The Drug Stock Up 73%

Jan 9, 2017 at 12:03 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has spent the day in negative territory so far, though losses are modest and the 20,000 level remains within view after Friday's close call. Stocks appear to be reacting to sinking oil prices, with February-dated crude futures last spotted 3% lower at $52.36 per barrel on concerns over rising U.S. output. Nevertheless, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is once again outperforming amid a sector-wide biotech surge, hitting yet another record intraday high.

Elsewhere, the Fed is also in focus, after Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said he expects inflation and unemployment goals to be met by year's end, and argued that a "more regular increase in the federal funds rate will be warranted." A speech from Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is on tap for this afternoon.

Continue reading for more on today's market -- and don't miss:

  • The $5.2 billion buyout bid that has this drugmaker trading up 73%.  
  • The retailer bucking the bearish holiday trend -- and why there may be more fuel left in the stock's tank. 
  • Checking in on the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY), and other noteworthy stats at midday.
  • Plus... 3D Systems calls catch fire, the drugmaker soaring on upbeat guidance, and the brokerage note sinking one financial stock. 

Midday Market Stats January 9

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is 3-D printing firm 3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD), where calls are flying across the tape at 14 times the typical intraday rate, putting call and total options volume on pace for new annual highs. The weekly 1/13 series is particularly popular, with buy-to-open action detected at the 15- and 15.50-strike calls. Sparking interest in DDD options is unconfirmed M&A chatter, which has the stock up 13.2% at $16.37. 

Diagnostics specialist EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS) is among the top performers on the Nasdaq at midday -- up 19.9% to $18.10, and possibly putting pressure on short sellers. The company said fourth-quarter revenue will beat estimates, while predicting 2016 revenue will show a 150% year-over-year increase.

Among the worst performers on the Nasdaq, meanwhile, is financial concern Fidus Investment Corp (NASDAQ:FDUS). A bearish brokerage note has the stock slipping 3.4% to $16.09, but the shares are still seated comfortably above support at the 160-day and 200-day moving averages, which have kept FDUS' losses in check for most of the past 10 months.

FDUS Daily Chart January 9

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) is up 0.3 point, or 2.7%, at 11.63. 

Today's put/call volume ratio on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) is 1.70, with puts easily outnumbering calls. SPY was last seen off 0.4 point, or 0.2%, at $226.82. 

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