Stocks Build on Early Morning Gains, Tech Marches Higher

The Nasdaq hit another intraday high as Big Tech continues to advance

Deputy Editor
Jul 13, 2020 at 12:20 PM
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Another round of positive vaccine updates and strong a 55% annual jump in new home sales for June -- the biggest annual jump since the housing crash -- is pushing stocks even higher by the midway mark. Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up over 400 points, while the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (NDX) are also building off this morning's momentum. Big Tech has once more helped the latter hit a new intraday record high. Notably, Apple (AAPL) is seeing some sizable gains after several analysts hiked their price targets.

All of these updates are drawing attention from another alarming spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the U.S. Specifically in Florida, where 15,299 new cases were reported on Sunday -- marking the highest number of single-day cases reported for one U.S. state since the beginning of the pandemic. 

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

  • Earnings beat puts pep in soda stock's step. 
  • Pot stock topples key trendline after analyst adjustment. 
  • Plus, PFE's options pits are on fire; ECOR bounds higher on FDA update; and one bombing biopharma to avoid.

Midday Market Stats July 13

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is leading the Dow components and seeing a lot of activity in its options pits today, with 120,000 calls crossing the tape so far -- five times intraday average -- compared to 11,000 puts. Most popular at the July 36 and 35 calls, which expire this Friday, July 17. At last check, the stock is up 4.9% at $35.48.

Bioelectronic name ElectroCore, Inc. (NASDAQ:ECOR) is the Nasdaq's best performer so far, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed off on emergency use of its nerve simulator in adults with COVID-19 symptoms. ECOR is up 158.8% at $2.20 at last check,and is set to close atop the formerly resistant 200-day moving average for the first time since September 2019. 

One of the worst performers on the Nasdaq is NextCure Inc (NASDAQ:NXTC), following the biopharmaceutical company's decision to discontinue trial testing on its lung cancer and ovarian cancer patient groups into the second phase of its 2-stage trial of its experimental immunotherapy drug. Additionally, NextCure's Chief Medical Officer announced his resignation from the company, bringing the shares of NXTC down 43.4% to $10.12, and drawing out bear notes from Piper Sandler and SunTrust Robinson. The equity is trading at an all-time low today after languishing just below the 20-day moving average for the past couple of months. 

NXTC Chart July 13

 

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