U.S. markets were back in positive territory today, decoupling for the first time in a while with oil prices again making a move lower. Stocks were aided by a seasonal bias toward the upside in a holiday-shortened week and the relief that “triple witching” option expirations are now in the past.
It was a quiet day, with no economic reports for traders to digest.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7%, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.9% higher. Other than energy, all major sectors were on the positive side today. Technology stocks were the strongest group.
Tenet Healthcare Corp (THC)
THC stock ended a downtrend today after the company announced the signing with Aetna Inc (NYSE:AET) of a four-year agreement, extending the affiliation that already exists between them.
The agreement calls for all 8.5 million Aetna Inc (AET) customers to have access to Tenet Healthcare’s various medical centers. The other half of this deal is that Tenet will supply the Aetna members with affordable, yet high-quality medical services. The new agreement starts New Year’s Day 2016.
THC stock has been on a six-month decline, as it’s fallen from $60 a share to a recent low of $26.60. Monday’s action saw it rise by more than 11%.
Rice Energy Inc (RICE)
RICE stock gained over 10% today after the company announced that an unnamed energy fund is going to invest up to $500 million in subsidiary Rice Midstream Partners LP (NYSE:RMP) in exchange for preferred equity.
RICE management said it plans to use $375 million from the total investment to pay off debt and fund new shale drilling operations.
The transaction will create a brand new subsidiary, named GP Holdings, and the closing will occur in early 2016. Also helping RICE stock today was a firming in natural gas prices, as the Midwest is forecasted to have some much colder weather ahead.
Fitbit Inc (FIT)
Overweight rating and $60 price target on FIT stock, saying the company has 7 of the top ten sports and fitness products selling this Christmas season on Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN). Murphy also expects FIT to continue with a “strong product pipeline for 2016”.
In addition, FIT received praise from Pacific Crest Securities, which noted that sales this holiday season have been “exploding”.
FIT stock rose by almost 5% on the day.
As of this writing, Ethan Roberts does not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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