Healthcare Stocks in Focus Ahead of Trump Speech

The Dow is set for its best win streak since November

Managing Editor
May 11, 2018 at 12:02 PM
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U.S. stocks are trading modestly higher at midday, with healthcare taking the lead ahead of a 2 p.m. ET speech on drug pricing by President Donald Trump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is pacing for a seventh straight win, which would mark its longest winning streak since November. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is also trading higher, though the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is lagging as tech stocks take a breather. All three indexes are still pacing for solid weekly gains. The Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) -- or Wall Street's "fear gauge" -- is staring at a seventh straight loss, which would mark its longest losing streak since May 2017. Further, the VIX is set for its longest weekly losing streak since mid-2016.

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

  • Blockchain stock that just earned its first 'buy' rating.
  • The retailer dropping on a bearish analyst note.
  • Plus, Symantec stock's dramatic plunge; Weight Watchers flirts with new highs; and one drug stock diving after earnings.

Midday Market Stats May 11

One stock sporting unusual post-earnings options volume today is software concern Symantec Corporation (NASDAQ:SYMC). So far, roughly 61,000 calls and 53,000 puts have traded -- 21 times what's typically seen at this point in the day, and a new annual high. Seeing the most action are the weekly 5/11 19-strike and May 20 puts, where more than 15,000 total contracts have been exchanged. This surge in volume comes just after the company reported a better-than-anticipated fiscal fourth-quarter beat. However, a weaker-than-expected outlook and Symantec's internal audit has the stock pacing for its worst day in years. SYMC has gapped 34% lower to trade at $19 -- just off a fresh annual low of $18.85.

Near the top of  the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is weight loss concern Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW), after the company priced an upsized secondary offering at $69 per share. WTW stock is 6% higher at $75.81, at last check, and has more than tripled in the past year atop its 80-day moving average.

Daily Chart of WTW with 80 MA

One of the Nasdaq's worst performers today is drug stock Fate Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:FATE), after the company reported weaker-than-expected first-quarter earnings. FATE stock is down 10% at $9.85, at last glance, but still sports an impressive nine-month gain of 227%.

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