Dow Stock Hits Record High After States Vote to Expand Medicaid

MU stock is getting a lift from a QLC flash drive launch

by Karee Venema

Published on Nov 7, 2018 at 2:48 PM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

The stock market is soaring today as Wall Street digests the results of the U.S. midterm elections. Among individual names making big moves are insurance giant UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH), chipmaker Micron Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:MU), and biopharmaceutical firm MiMedx Group Inc (NASDAQ:MDXG). Here's a quick look at what's moving shares of UNH, MU, and MDXG.

UnitedHealth Stock is Rising After the U.S. Midterm Elections

UnitedHealth stock is at the top of the Dow today -- up 4.5% at $275.16, and fresh off a record high of $276.75. In addition to anticipation that a split Congress will likely lead to policy gridlock in D.C. over the next two years, voters in Idaho, Utah, and Nebraska approved the expansion of Medicaid programs for low-income residents.

UNH has been climbing the charts over the last 12 months, up 29.4% thanks to several bounces off its 120-day moving average. This trendline emerged as support in late October, and a quick rally off here now has the security breaking above previous congestion in the $272 neighborhood.

Options traders have been buying to open puts over calls at a quicker-than-usual clip, per UNH's 10-day put/call volume ratio of 2.58 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), which ranks in the 96th annual percentile. Given the Dow stock's long-term gains, though, it's possible some of this activity is due to shareholders initiating an options hedge.

Micron Stock Rallies Into Key Technical Resistance

Micron stock is up 2.6% to trade at $40.82 on news the chipmaker has started shipping its quad-level cell (QLC) flash drive. It's been a dismal five months for the shares, which are down nearly 37% from their May 30 peak of $64.66, and hit an annual low of $33.82 on Oct. 29. Plus, today's upside is being contained near $41.10, home to the equity's 30-day moving average, a 23.6% Fibonacci retracement of that recent sell-off, and its year-to-date breakeven mark.

Amid this longer-term technical weakness, bearish options traders have been buzzing. MU's 10-day ISE/CBOE/PHLX put/call volume ratio of 0.61 ranks in the 100th percentile of its annual range. Plus, the stock's Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio (SOIR) of 0.83 arrives in the 83rd percentile of its 12-month range, meaning short-term speculators are less call-skewed than usual toward Micron.

MiMedx Stock Sinks Ahead of Nasdaq Delisting

MiMedx stock is down 30.8% to trade at $4.31, after the company received a delisting notice from the Nasdaq. In response, MiMedx Group's board of directors adopted a poison pill to guard against any hostile takeover attempts, though Chairman of the Board Charles Evans said, "This does not prevent us from considering any offer that is fair and maximizes value for our shareholders."

This is just more of the same for a stock that's shed 66.2% year-to-date, and isn't trading too far from its July 10 four-year low of $3.01. The Nasdaq plans to suspend trading of MDXG stock effective at tomorrow's open, and MiMedx said it will not appeal the delisting.


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