Dow Up Over 200 Points; S&P Eyes Record Close

Travelers stock is enjoying a relief rally, while Apple is set to snap a losing streak

Managing Editor
Sep 11, 2017 at 11:55 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is soaring at midday, up over 200 points and set to end atop the 22,000 level for the first time in nearly a month, as the threats from Hurricane Irma and North Korea die down. Dow stock Travelers is the best blue-chip performer, as insurance stocks rally amid lower Irma-related damage estimates. Tech stocks are also higher, with Apple set to snap its four-day losing streak ahead of tomorrow's highly anticipated iPhone reveal. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (COMP) are also higher, with the former on pace for a record closing high.

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

  • 2 pharma stocks on fire today.
  • Bearish analyst attention can't stop these 2 airline stocks.
  • Plus, Keytruda spurs a Merck call frenzy; VRX's rebound attempt; and Home Depot stock slows down.

Midday Market Stats Sept 11


Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Dow pharmaceutical stock Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), with over 13,000 calls traded -- four times the average intraday pace, and set for the 94th percentile of its annual range. The October 67.50 call is attracting the most attention, with over 8,100 contracts exchanged, in what appears to be bullish, buy-to-open activity. MRK stock is currently up 1.4% to trade at $65.15 -- its highest point in more than two months -- after the company reported encouraging results from its latest Keytruda drug trials.

Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX) stock is up 4.8% at $14.27. The pharma stock has tacked on 17.7% during the last six months, as the equity looks to break back above its 200-day moving average for the first time this month.

Home Depot Inc (NYSE:HD) is among the worst stocks on the S&P 500 today, and is leading the four Dow laggards, down 1.7% at $157.08. HD shares are set to snap their five-session winning streak, as lowered damage estimates from Irma weigh on home-improvement stocks. From a longer-term standpoint, Home Depot stock has added 17.5% in 2017, with pullbacks contained by its rising 180-day moving average, and the shares last week came within a point of all-time highs. 

Midday Market Chart HD Sept 11

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