Rate-Hike Worries Weigh On Dow Jones Industrial Average

Analyst: This Drug Stock Will Double

by Josh Selway

Published on Mar 8, 2017 at 12:08 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has explored both sides of breakeven, with the blue-chip barometer last seen lower, on track to close down for a third straight day. Ahead to Friday's nonfarm payrolls number, this morning's stunning ADP jobs report appears to have drastically improved the prospects of a rate hike at the Fed's March meeting -- which has financial shares outperforming. Meanwhile, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE:CAT) is the putting the most pressure on the Dow, due to new tax fraud allegations, though the stock is well off its session lows. Falling oil prices could also be weighing on stocks, with April-dated crude futures down 1.9% at $52.16 per barrel. 

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

  • Analysts expect this drug stock to double. 
  • Options traders brace for another huge post-earnings loss from El Pollo LoCo Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:LOCO). 
  • Plus, put traders target a falling commodity stock, the biotech making a comeback, and the trendline saving Ciena. 

stock market today march 8

Among the names seeing accelerated options trading today is energy stock Whiting Petroleum Corp (NYSE:WLL), with the shares down 7.1% at $9.68 -- on pace for their first close below the 200-day moving average since mid-November. Puts are trading at four times the normal rate for this point in the day, led by what appears to be buy-to-open activity at April 9 strike. If this is the case, put buyers are hoping for extended losses from WLL over the next seven weeks. 

Puma Biotechnology Inc (NASDAQ:PBYI) is outperforming on the Nasdaq today, though it's not clear why. The shares were last seen 11.2% higher at $39.60, as they fight to overcome the round $40 level. PBYI sold off last week on drug competition concerns, but has more than pared those losses, on pace for its best close since Feb. 17. 

Over on the Big Board, tech stock Ciena Corporation (NYSE:CIEN) is down 8.1% at $24.05, after the company's disappointing fiscal first-quarter earnings report. However, CIEN is still up 44% year-over-year, with today's pullback finding familiar support in the $24 area, which is also home to the stock's rising 80-day moving average. 

cien stock chart march 8

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