S&P Eyes Longest Win Streak Since October

The Dow is in the red, though

Feb 20, 2018 at 11:47 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is in danger of snapping its six-session win streak, pressured by a negative earnings reaction for big-cap retailer Walmart (WMT). Stocks are also reacting surging bond yields and a strengthening U.S. dollar ahead of a Treasury Department auction of short-term notes. Nevertheless, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are clinging to a modest gains at midday, following their biggest weekly gains in years. Should the SPX hold higher through the close, it will be its seventh straight gain -- its longest daily win streak since early October.

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

  • The biotech crushing short sellers.
  • Bears are blasting this "total fraud" stock after SEC subpoenas.
  • Plus, Rite Aid options volume soars; and 2 volatile healthcare stocks.

midday market stats feb 20

Among the stocks with unusual options volume today is Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), with 74,935 contracts on the tape at last check -- 21 times the expected rate, and volume pacing in the 99th annual percentile. RAD stock was up 8% earlier after Albertsons announced a takeover deal with the drugstore chain, which may have prompted one speculator to sell to close 20,000 April 2.50 calls to fund the purchase of an equal number of April 2 puts. At last check, Rite Aid shares were 2.8% higher to trade at $2.19.

Voyager Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VYGR) is near the top of the Nasdaq, after the gene therapy specialist said it's teamed up with AbbVie (ABBV) to develop treatments for several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's. VYGR shares were last seen up 21.4% to trade at $23.51 -- and were briefly halted ahead of the bell -- on track for their biggest one-day gain since Sept. 6.

vygr stock daily chart feb 20

MiMedx Group Inc (NASDAQ:MDXG) is the worst stock on the Nasdaq at last check, after the biotech said it postponed its fourth-quarter earnings release amid an internal investigation into sales and distribution practices. After being halted in electronic trading, MDXG stock was last seen down 31.6% at $9.90.

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