Blue-Chip Earnings Boost Dow Before Tax Vote

The House is planning to vote on tax reform this afternoon

Nov 16, 2017 at 11:52 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is exploding higher today, thanks to big earnings reactions from Wal-Mart (WMT) and Cisco Systems (CSCO). The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are sharply higher as well, as stocks bounce back from two straight down days across Wall Street. Investors are keeping a close eye on this morning's economic data and an expected House of Representatives vote for a tax plan that would cut the corporate tax rate to 20%. Stabilizing oil prices are likely supporting the risk-on session, too, with December-dated crude futures up 0.3% at $55.49 per barrel.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:

  • The rare dollar signal flashing for the second time since 2009.
  • 3 drug stocks slapped with bearish analyst notes.
  • Plus, the tech stock seeing pre-earnings call buying; and 2 biotech stocks going opposite directions.

midday market stats nov 16

Among the stocks with unusual options volume is tech stock Splunk Inc (NASDAQ:SPLK), ahead of the company's earnings release this evening. Call volume is running at nine times the expected pace, and traders are targeting near-term contracts. Most popular is the November 75 call, followed by the November 72 and the December 75 calls. Those buying the calls to open are expecting SPLK stock to rise in the weeks ahead, with the shares last seen trading at $69.33, up 2.4% on the day.

One of the top stocks on the Nasdaq is cancer treatment specialist Mirati Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:MRTX), after the company announced a bigger-than-expected public stock offering priced at $13 per share. The equity was last seen trading 20% higher at $16.87, earlier hitting an annual high of $17.50. MRTX stock in September enjoyed a huge bull gap thanks to a well-received update for its lung cancer drug.

On the other hand, surgical equipment specialist AxoGen, Inc. (NASDAQ:AXGN) is near the bottom of the Nasdaq following its stock offering, priced at $21 per share. The security has dropped 10% today to trade at $22.38, landing it on the short-sale restricted list. Still, AXGN stock is up 146% in 2017, notched a record high of $25.15 on Monday.

axgn stock

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