Dow Takes the Lead as Fed Meeting, Boeing Steal Focus

Bank stocks are higher ahead of an expected rate hike from the Fed

Managing Editor
Dec 12, 2017 at 11:57 AM
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U.S. stocks are higher at midday, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) is taking a notable lead. Lifting the blue-chip index to a triple-digit gain is a dividend hike from Boeing (BA) and upbeat analyst attention for Verizon Communications (VZ) stock. Bank stocks are also on the rise as the Fed meeting kicks off, with the central bank expected to announce a rate hike tomorrow -- and today's inflation data supporting that theory. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also in the black, with the former notching an all-time high, despite another pullback in tech stocks.

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

  • 6 currency trades that aren't bitcoin.
  • Goldman Sachs says 'buy' this video game stock.
  • Plus, Square stock's unusual put volume; the pharma stock near the top of the NYSE; and YTEN's rapid pullback.

Midday Market Stats Dec 12

Among the stocks with unusual put options volume is Square, Inc. (NYSE:SQ), with roughly 67,000 put options traded -- four times the average intraday norm, and pacing for the highest percentile of its annual range. The December 35 put is the most active, with more than 57,000 total contracts exchanged -- mostly attributable to a sweep of nearly 41,000 contracts likely bought to open. At last check, SQ stock was up 1.7% at $38.98, thanks to a price-target hike to $45 at J.P. Morgan Securities, as well as more bitcoin-related optimism. Square stock has now added more than 185% in 2017.

One of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Valeant Pharmaceuticals Intl Inc (NYSE:VRX), after the drug stock touched a fresh annual high of $21.87 during intraday trading. VRX stock was up 5.7% at $21.72, at last check, nearly 160% higher than the stock's April lows.

One of he worst performers on Nasdaq is biotech concern Yield10 Bioscience Inc (NASDAQ:YTEN). At last check, YTEN stock was down 19% at $4.88, paring yesterday's impressive gains brought on by a license deal with Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON). However, YTEN remains above the 200-day moving average, which acted as resistance over the past few months.

Daily Chart of YTEN with 200MA Since Jan 2017


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