Tech Strength Sends Dow, Nasdaq Higher

There's interesting options action on drilling stock Transocean today

by Josh Selway

Published on May 1, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Stocks are mostly higher today thanks to strong corporate earnings and jobs data. Apple's (AAPL) big earnings beat is the main story, pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) to a solid lead at the halfway point. Meanwhile, ADP data revealed a sharp increase in private payrolls for April, a noteworthy update ahead of Friday's jobs report out of the Labor Department and today's Fed decision. Against this backdrop, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is following the Dow higher on broader strength out of the tech sector, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is closer to breakeven.

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

midday market stats may 1

One name seeing unusual options activity today is Transocean Ltd (NYSE:RIG), which Trade-Alert suggests is part of an ongoing trend on drilling stocks. Specifically, 58,000 RIG calls have traded today, compared to a daily average of just 15,000. Almost 50,000 of these contracts crossed at the June 10 call, with all signs pointing to buy-to-open activity. This would mean traders are betting on RIG shares rising above $10 in the weeks ahead. The stock is trading up 2.3% at $8.04, but remains short-sale restricted after Tuesday's post-earnings sell-off.

Direct selling stock Nu Skin Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:NUS) is one of the best stocks on Wall Street today, trading up 26.2% at $64.20. The company posted a top- and bottom-line beat after the close yesterday, and the shares are trading at their highest level since late February, though the 200-day moving average is looming overhead.

nus stock price may 1

A favorite of Wall Street speculators, healthcare name Pulse Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:PLSE) is one of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq today. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested more information on the company's CellFX System, sending the shares down 23.2% to $12.30, into territory not charted for PLSE stock since Jan. 30.

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