Dow Pares Gains on Disappointing Data; Chip Stocks Boost Nasdaq

Optimism about a U.S.-China trade deal is helping stocks

by Lillian Currens

Published on Apr 3, 2019 at 11:57 AM
Updated on Apr 3, 2019 at 12:13 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has pared its earlier gains, as traders turn their attention to a weakening U.S. services sector, which saw growth slow last month to a pace not seen since August 2017. In addition, Wall Street continues to weigh worse-than-expected private payrolls data, which precedes Friday's highly anticipated March jobs report. However, lingering optimism over a trade deal between the U.S. and China has helped keep the index afloat, while strength in chip stocks has the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) outperforming.

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

  • Why GameStop stock just dropped to single digits.  
  • The Ford partnership pushing this China stock higher. 
  • Plus, options traders are piling on WDC stock; the penny stock soaring on the weed craze; and ADXS stock continues to stumble. 

Midday Market Stats Apr 3

Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC) is seeing unusual options volume today, with roughly 20,000 calls and 9,000 puts exchanging hands so far -- about two times the average intraday volume. The weekly 4/5 53-strike call looks to be the most popular, where it looks like traders are buying the contracts to open. Western Digital shares are up 5% at $52.93 today, thanks to a semiconductor halo lift. 

Farming concern Evogene Ltd (NASDAQ:EVGN) is near the top of the Nasdaq today, after announcing its new subsidiary, Canonic Ltd, will develop medical cannabis products. EVGN is up 23.3% at $2.22 at midday, after hitting an all-time low of $1.67 this Monday. After peaking at $2.43 in intraday trading, the stock is back on pace to end beneath its 80-day moving average, which hasn't been toppled on a daily closing basis since November. 

EVGN Apr 3

Advaxis, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADXS) is one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today, after the medical researcher offered its common stock at a deep discount to yesterday's close. The shares are trading 30.3% lower at $4.11, at last glance -- down roughly 87% off last year's high of $30.60 in mid-May.

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