Profit-Taking Stalls Stock Rally

A number of recent outperformers are being knocked down today

Jan 18, 2018 at 12:07 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) tapped a record high at the open, but it would appear stocks are now being hit by a round of profit-taking, with the blue-chip index last seen trading back below 26,000. In fact, some of the year's top sectors -- namely, healthcare and finance -- are the primary reasons the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) have joined the Dow in the red. Investors continue to monitor the latest fourth-quarter earnings results and today's economic data, including a multi-decade low in unemployment claims. A potential government shutdown is looming over the market, as well, which may help explain the stock slump.

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

midday market stats january 18

Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ:PZZA) is once again a stock seeing unusual options activity. Call volume has already torched the average daily volume, with the contracts crossing at eight times the expected intraday pace. One of the most popular options is the February 65 call, where it would appear traders are buying to open positions to bet on more upside for PZZA stock. The shares were trading up 6.8% at $63.10 at last check.

GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE:GNC) is the top performer on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, trading 39.4% higher at $4.84, testing its 50-day moving average in the process. The move comes after a stronger-than-expected sales update -- and possible short squeeze -- though GNC remains well below its 52-week high of $11.37 from exactly one year ago.

gnc stock today

One stock underperforming on the NYSE is NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG), one of the top S&P performers of 2017. The shares are trading down 32% at $26.88, on pace for their third straight down day and the first close below the 80-day moving average since July.

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