Dow Pares Gains as Big-Cap Pharma Stocks Struggle

Stocks got an early boost on upbeat trade headlines

by Karee Venema

Published on Jun 26, 2019 at 12:01 PM
Updated on Jun 26, 2019 at 12:06 PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) jumped triple digits out of the gate on upbeat trade comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, but has since pared these gains on headwinds from pharma stocks Merck (MRK) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ). The Dow is still above water, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are modestly higher, too, with the latter two indexes set to snap their three-day losing streak thanks to strong Micron (MU) earnings.

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

  • How options traders are playing an eBay stock breakout.
  • Why LifeSci Capital called this pharma stock a "high-risk investment."
  • Plus, AbbVie options pop again; new Nasdaq stock continues hot streak; and sinking GBT tests support.

midday market stats june 26

AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV) is seeing unusual options trading, with 37,200 calls and 20,500 puts on the tape, six times what's typically seen. This is the second day of heavy ABBV options trading, after the pharma stock sold off on major buyout buzz yesterday. Speculators today may be buying to open weekly 6/28 68-strike calls, while a spread strategist is possibly initiating a long strangle with the July 60 puts and July 69 calls. ABBV shares are up 2.8% at $67.42, at last check.

Grocery Outlet Holding Corp (NASDAQ:GO) is near the top of the Nasdaq, continuing to climb following last week's initial public offering (IPO). The discount supermarket started trading on June 20, opening at $31 after pricing its IPO at $22 per share. Today, GO stock is up 9.5% at $33.61, fresh off a record high of $34.33.

Global Blood Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:GBT) is one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq at midday, after the sickle cell disease specialist priced its stock offering at $59.25 per share -- a discount to Tuesday's close at $62.43. After hitting a 16-month high of $64.94 yesterday, GBT stock was last seen down 11.9% at $55.01, testing support at its 100-day moving average.

gbt stock price chart july 26

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