Dow, S&P Retreat; Nasdaq Headed for 7th Straight Win

BA and INTC have turned up the heat on the Dow

by Karee Venema

Published on Mar 12, 2018 at 11:57 AM
Updated on Mar 12, 2018 at 1:59 PM

Payrolls-related tailwinds helped boost the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) to a triple-digit lead in early trading, but the lingering optimism toward last Friday's jobs data has since evaporated. At last check, Dow was down more than 100 points -- pressured by big drops for Boeing (BA) and Intel (INTC) -- while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) has also turned lower. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is keeping its head above water after topping out at a record high earlier, and is on track for a seventh straight win -- which would mark its longest daily win streak since October.

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

  • Analyst targets two-year highs for this mining stock.
  • Citron Research: Short this FAANG stock.
  • Plus, M&A buzz boosts Oclaro options volume; and 2 volatile penny stocks.

midday market stats march 12

Among the list of stocks with unusual options volume today is Oclaro Inc (NASDAQ:OCLR), with roughly 14,000 contracts traded -- 10 times what's typically seen at this point in the day. OCLR stock is up 26.8% at $9.95, after Lumentum Holdings (LITE) agreed to buy the fiber optics specialist. The January 2019 10-strike call is most active, and it looks like traders could be buying the options to close.

Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) is near the top of the Nasdaq today, after the patent acquirer has started bitcoin mining operations at its facility in Quebec, Canada. At last check, MARA stock was up 28% at $1.96, but is running out of steam near familiar resistance at its 10-day moving average.

daily mara chart march 12

Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:ANTH) is the worst stock on the Nasdaq today, after the autoimmune diseases specialist said it would stop developing its lead drug, Sollpura -- which sought to treat digesting issues in patients with cystic fibrosis -- after it failed a late-stage study. The company is now going to explore strategic options. A price-target cut to $0.50 from $2 by Jefferies is only adding to the risk-off backdrop, with ANTH stock down 80.6% at $0.51, and earlier hitting a record low of $0.40.


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