Stocks are all over the place today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) enjoys another big rally, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is on pace for its worst day in three months. Like the S&P 500 Index (SPX), the Dow touched another record high earlier, thanks to strong gains from bank stocks, but it’s sharp losses from tech stocks — especially shares of FAANG and semiconductor firms — that’s dragging down the Nasdaq. On top of this morning’s strong gross domestic product (GDP) update — which bolstered expectations for a December rate hike — investors are keeping tabs on outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s Congressional testimony, where she issued a warning on the national debt, saying, “It’s the type of thing that should keep people awake at night.”
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Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), as the shares rally 5.5% to trade at $59.73. Call volume has already tripled the average daily volume, with Trade-Alert highlighting call spreads with the January 62.50 and 65 calls. Meanwhile, there also appears to be spread activity involving the January and March 62.50 calls. TGT stock has been grinding higher in recent months, and is attempting to fill a bear gap from earlier this month, thanks to encouraging Cyber Monday stats.
One of the top stocks on the Nasdaq is software concern Nuance Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NUAN). The shares have surged 6.4% to trade at $16.88, on pace for their second straight close above the 50-day moving average and the best finish since early August, following an impressive earnings report.
One big loser on the Nasdaq is semiconductor equipment specialist Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMAT), as semiconductor stocks fall. At last check, AMAT shares were down 7.3% at $53.12, set to breach the 50-day moving average for the first time since late August. Still, the security is up 65% over the past year.
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