Stocks shot higher out of the gate this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) all hitting record highs. However, these gains quickly evaporated, with the SPX now struggling to hold the 2,600 level. Traders were taking a risk-on approach following a number of positive Black Friday and Cyber Monday headlines, and retail stocks are outperforming as a result. Also helping markets is a blowout report for new home sales, which touched a 10-year high in October. Meanwhile, investors continue to keep an eye on a potential Senate vote on tax reform later this week.
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Among the stocks with unusual options volume is Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), as the grocery chain operator prepares to report third-quarter earnings Thursday morning. Last seen trading at $23.26, KR shares have been notching higher highs and lows since early October, and options traders are betting on even more upside. Specifically, the December 24 call is seeing what appears to be huge buy-to-open activity today, with these traders hoping the stock will climb atop $24 in the coming weeks.
One of the top stocks on the New York Stock Exchange is cybersecurity specialist Barracuda Networks Inc (NYSE:CUDA). The stock earlier hit a two-year high of $27.66, and was last seen 16.3% higher at $27.56, thanks to news the company will be taken private by Thoma Bravo LLC for $1.47 billion, or $27.55 per share. Before this, the shares had essentially traded sideways for over a year.
A big loser on the Nasdaq is Western Digital Corp (NASDAQ:WDC), last seen 6.6% lower at $86.57, following a rare downgrade at Morgan Stanley. Despite the pullback, WDC shares are up more than 27% in 2017, and are again finding support atop their 200-day moving average.
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