Dow Jones Industrial Average Set to Lose the Day, Win the Quarter

The Chipmaker That's Nearly Tripled in 12 Months

Mar 31, 2017 at 12:04 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has spent the whole session in the red so far, but remains on track for a weekly win and a hefty first-quarter gain. For the month, however, the Dow is on pace for its first loss since October. Today, stocks are reacting to strong inflation data and an uptick in the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI), as well as a slightly lower-than-expected reading for consumer sentiment. Energy stocks are among the leading laggards on the large-cap index, with oil prices slipping. May-dated crude futures were last seen 0.4% lower at $50.16 per barrel, after closing Thursday above the $50 mark for the first time in three weeks. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) is sitting a hair above breakeven, looking for another record-high close, as well as a sixth straight daily win. 

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

  • Why BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) could have short sellers running for cover. 
  • An upbeat analyst note on the chipmaker that's nearly tripled year-over-year. 
  • Plus, ConocoPhillips calls catch fire; the drugmaker taking out a key trendline; and Corning finds a foothold. 

Midday Market Stats March 31

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is energy interest ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP). The shares are pulling back 1.2% to $49.40 after popping nearly 9% on asset sale news Thursday. And the options pits are still buzzing, with COP calls trading hands at five times the typical intraday pace. In fact, with nearly 22,000 contracts on the tape, call volume is on pace to top yesterday's 52-week high. Most active are the May 52.50 and 47 calls, where it appears at least one trader may be rolling up his bullish bet, looking for the stock to extend its rally over the coming months. 

Among the top percentage gainers on the Nasdaq today is drug stock Akari Therapeutics PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:AKTX), up 27.6% to $8.91 and on pace to close above the 120-day moving average for the first time since last June. Boosting the shares is news AKTX's blood disorder treatment, Coversin, was granted fast-track status from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

AKTX Daily Chart March 31

Glass specialist Corning Incorporated (NYSE:GLW) is among the leading laggards on the New York Stock Exchange following a bearish analyst note from Citigroup. The stock is off 2% at $27.01 today, but GLW seems to be finding a solid foothold at the $27 mark, and any deeper pullbacks could find support at the rising 60-day moving average. 

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