U.S. stocks are modestly higher at midday, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), S&P 500 Index (SPX), and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are off their session peaks. Still, the DJIA and SPX are aiming for another record close. The reported attempted suicide bombing at Times Square in New York City took some of the wind out of the bulls’ sails, but a strong day for drug and tech stocks is lifting the major indexes. Bitcoin futures are also in focus, following their debut — which saw surging demand that triggered at least two halts.
Continue reading for more on today’s market, including:
- 2 biotech stocks skyrocketing on “unheard of” drug results.
- 3 stocks moving as bitcoin futures go live.
- Plus, a social media stock’s unusual volume; CenturyLink’s impressive lift; and the drug stock ranking as Nasdaq’s worst.
Among the stocks with unusual call options volume is Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR), with roughly 63,000 call options traded — three times the average intraday norm, and pacing for the 97th percentile of its annual range. What’s more, today’s put/call ratio of 0.16 is set for an annual low. The weekly 12/22 20-strike call is among the most active, with possible buy-to-open activity detected. At last check, TWTR stock was up 4.2% at $21.99, having added nearly 35% in 2017.
One of the top performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is CenturyLink, Inc. (NYSE:CTL), after the telecom concern was selected as a network provider for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. CTL stock was up 7.4% at $15.75, at last check, nearly 20% higher than the stock’s late-November lows.
The worst performer on Nasdaq is biotech concern Spark Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ONCE), after the company issued disappointing trial data regarding its hemophilia drug. At last check, ONCE stock was down 43% at $41.52, gapping below its 200-day moving average, which had been recent support.
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