Dow Inches Higher As Tech Weighs On Nasdaq

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up a modest 56 points midday after ADP reported private job growth more than doubled analysts' estimates for December. Both the S&P 500 Index (SPXand Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) remain in the red, though, as semiconductor and tech stocks struggle. Traders are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's meeting minutes from last month, which will be released later today and could hint at when the central bank will hike interest rates in 2022. 

MMC Stats 0105

Marathon Petroleum Corp (NYSE: MPCis seeing an uptick in options activity today. So far, 54,000 calls and 1,827 puts have crossed the tape, which is 24 times the intraday average. Most popular is the January 67.50 call, followed closely by the April 75 call, with new positions being opened at the latter. The shares were last seen up 1.9% at $69.15, and earlier hit a roughly four-year high of $69.94 after receiving a price-target hike to $81 from $80 at JP Morgan Securities. Over the past 12 months, MPC has added 65.3%.

One of the best names on the Nasdaq today is Lixte Biotechnology Holdings Inc  (Nasdaq: LIXT). The drug stock is up 78.5% to trade at $2.41 at last check after a study showed its clinical compound, LB-100, increase the responsiveness of various cancers to immunotherapy. LIXT is now eyeing its best close since August, and earlier bust through long-time overhead pressure from the 60-day moving average.

LIXT 60 Day

Annexon Inc (Nasdaq: ANNXis one of Nasdaq's worst-performing stocks today, last seen down 35.2% to trade at an all-time low of $7.13. This bear gap comes after the biotech company released interim data for the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of its Huntington's disease treatment. ANNX has been chopping lower since September, and now carries a 68.5% year-over-year deficit.

Disclaimer: Schaeffer's Investment Research ("SIR" or "we" or "us") is not registered as an investment adviser. SIR relies upon the "publishers' ...

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