Merck, Upbeat Earnings Carry Stocks Higher

The Dow is trading up 200 points

by Josh Selway

Published on Apr 16, 2018 at 12:08 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is holding higher today, trading up 200 points, thanks to a Keytruda-induced pop from Merck (MRK). In fact, the rise in MRK shares is providing a lift for the broader healthcare sector, a big reason the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are tracking the Dow higher. Investors are also keeping an eye on the start to earnings season -- highlighted by a huge post-earnings move from top SPX gainer J B Hunt Transport (JBHT) -- and the latest geopolitical developments.

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

  • The drug stock cut in half after trial data.
  • Analyst: Record lows ahead for this food stock.
  • Plus, small-cap sees unusual pre-earnings activity; Turtle Beach pops again; and Stitch Fix stock falls.

midday chart april 16

One name seeing unusual options activity is Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW). Trade-Alert is highlighted buying at the April 4 call ahead of the company's earnings release on April 19. One would infer this is bullish activity, betting on a post-earnings rise from the digital content solutions provider. LLNW shares were last seen trading down 3.1% at $3.76.

One of the top performers on the Nasdaq is Turtle Beach Corp (NASDAQ:HEAR), as the stock makes another huge move higher. The shares were last seen trading up $12.8% at $4.41, echoing last week's post-earnings rally. The $3 level, home to the 320-day moving average, appears to be a level of technical support.

hear stock price

Stitch Fix Inc (NASDAQ:SFIX) is a major loser on the Nasdaq, trading down 9% at $21.12. The shares have been trading in a tight range all year, with the $19-$20 area containing the pullbacks. Options traders don't seem concerned, as calls are trading at four times the expected pace.
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