Nasdaq Blasts Toward Record Highs Ahead of Big Tech Earnings

The S&P 500 and Dow pivoted lower at midday, however

Digital Content Manager
Jan 21, 2021 at 12:18 PM
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Stocks have pulled back slightly this afternoon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was last seen down roughly 40 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is struggling for direction. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC), meanwhile, still boasts modest gains as investors anticipate promising earnings from several Big Tech names, including Facebook (FB), Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL). All three major indexes also touched brand new highs earlier today, as hopes of a faster vaccine rollout and further stimulus under President Joe Biden -- who is already setting his rescue plan in motion through a number of executive orders -- boosted sentiment. 

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

  • The analyst betting on PayPal's growing Bitcoin initiative
  • Fastly stock surges after Oppenheimer turns positive on product launch.
  • Plus, options bulls circle LLNW after CEO appointment; energy stock surges on $2 billion offering; and AA stock plummets on disappointing Q1 guidance.

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One stock seeing notable options activity today is Limelight Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ:LLNW), last seen up 1.2% to trade at $4.38, after the content delivery name appointed growth executive Bob Lyons from Alert Logic as its new president and CEO, effective Feb.1. And while the stock received a price-target cut from D.A. Davidson to $4.50 from $5 in response, the bear note has done little to deter options bulls. So far, 21,000 calls have crossed the tape, which is 19 times the intraday average. Most popular is the monthly March 4.50 call, followed by the February 5 call, with new positions being opened at both. The security has had a volatile run on the charts over the past 12 months, falling to an Oct. 30 one-year low of $3.43 after surging to a July 2, nine-year high of $8.19. As a result, LLNW carries a 16.3% year-over-year deficit. 

Near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is NGL Energy Partners LP (NYSE:NGL), up 35.5% at $3.53 at last check, after the security announced an offering of over $2 billion in senior secured notes. The equity has been struggling to make a comeback since dropping to a March 18, all-time low of $1.15, chopping lower from an early June rally to the $7 mark. Now, the security is testing its recently resistant 100-day moving average, however, and quarter-to-date NGL has added 56.3%.

Near the bottom of the NYSE today is Alcoa Corp (NYSE:AA), last seen down 9.5% to trade at $20.68, after aluminum name reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, but weaker first-quarter guidance that missed Wall Street's expectations. The stock has been cooling off since quadrupling off its March all-time-lows near the $5 mark to hit a Jan. 7, annual high of $26.20. What's more, this drop has the equity slipping below the formerly supportive 40-day moving average. In the last nine months, however, AA has tacked on 187.1%. 

AA 40 Day

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