Dow Eyes Weekly Gain on Payrolls Surprise

Congressional leaders agreed to a two-week spending measure, avoiding a government shutdown for the time being

Managing Editor
Dec 8, 2017 at 11:53 AM
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U.S. stocks are trading higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA)S&P 500 Index (SPX),and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) getting a lift from the stronger-than-forecast nonfarm payrolls report for November. The U.S. economy gained 228,000 jobs last month, while the unemployment rate stayed at a low 4.1%. Combined with the passage of a two-week funding bill to stave off a government shutdown, the upside surprise on jobs has been sufficient to set the Dow and S&P on track for modest weekly gains -- though the Nasdaq Composite is wobbling around its week-to-date breakeven at midday.

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

  • 2 bank stocks scoring bullish analyst notes ahead of the Fed. 
  • The tech stock soaring on a lucrative China deal.
  • Plus, unusual option volume on CELG; the Chinese stock rallying for the second day in a row; and the catalyst behind today's sell-off in gun stocks.

Midday Market Stats Dec 8

Among the stocks with unusual call options volume is Celgene Corporation (NASDAQ:CELG), with roughly 21,000 call options traded -- three times the average intraday norm, and pacing in the 98th percentile of its annual range. The flurry of options activity precedes Celgene's Sunday webcast of an analyst and investor event to be held at the American Society of Hematology event in Atlanta. At last check, CELG stock is up 2.9% at $105.70, having added 11.8% from its late-October annual low.

One of the top percentage gainers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Jupai Holdings Ltd (NYSE:JP), with the China-based wealth management firm up 11.3% at $18.92. Today's rally follows Thursday's 11% surge, with JP more than doubling in value over the past six months.

Daily Chart of JP Since Jan 2017

One of the worst Nasdaq stocks is firearm producer American Outdoor Brands Corp (NASDAQ:AOBC), after the company issued a surprisingly weak fiscal third-quarter outlook. At last check, AOBC was down 9.4% at $13.52, after earlier touching a two-year low of $12.46.

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