For being such a muted session in the Nasdaq today, there certainly were a lot of movers. The Nasdaq ended today lower by 0.32% and traded quietly all session long. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones make even calmer claims, ending lower by 11 basis points and higher by 3 basis points, respectively. That said, it was a very different story for the Russell 2000, which tumbled 1.2% on Monday.
So what stocks were on the move? Well, there some big deals to talk about.
M&A in the Nasdaq Today
First, Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY) were on the move (as a reminder, BMY is buying CELG). In order to get FTC approval, the duo reportedly plan to divest Celgene’s Otezla unit. Otezla generated about 10% of Celgene’s sales last quarter and logs over $1 billion a year in revenue. It doesn’t help that the deal is expected to take longer to go through too. Management previously expected the deal to close in the third quarter of this year. Now expectations are for Q4 2019 or Q1 2020.
The news has Celgene down more than 5% on three-times normal volume. BMY is down more than 7.5% on almost five-times normal volume.
That’s not the only deal news though, with Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) agreeing to a $17.3 billion merger with Eldorado Resort (NASDAQ:ERI). CZR climbed over 14% in response, while ERI fell 13% on the cash-and-stock deal announcement.
The charts for CELG, BMY and CZR stocks can be found here.
Not including Caesars, Nasdaq bulls had their eye on Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA). Video game stocks were in the “Losers” category last week after some disappointing video game data, but are starting off this week strong. All it took was an analyst upgrade to send share higher by 3.85% on the day. Activision Blizzard (NASDAQ:ATVI) and Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) also climbed on the day.
Western Digital (NASDAQ:WDC) continues to rally, climbing 2.5% on Monday after putting in a low last week. The semiconductor and memory space is gearing up for Micron’s (NASDAQ:MU) earnings on Tuesday after the close. For Micron’s part, shares jumped almost 2% in early trading despite a report highlighting an analyst’s “fugly” expectations, but the stock ultimately closed just below flat.
I think Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has hit a new high every day that we’ve written the new Nasdaq Today column. Monday was no exception. You’re welcome, bulls.
Ulta Beauty (NASDAQ:ULTA) slipped 2.6% on Monday, but climbed well off the lows following news that Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is opening its own Beauty supply store. The move is aimed at professionals, but never mind the impact to ULTA. Any time AMZN gets into a certain business — or even just talks about it — the well-established competitors get hit. This time around, it’s Ulta’s turn. At least it did better than Sally Beauty (NYSE:SBH), which fell 16.7%.
After hitting new highs on Thursday, Workday (NASDAQ:WDAY) is pulling back, with shares down more than 3.3% on Monday. The stock remains in a steady uptrend, so perhaps Monday is just a bit of profit taking. Still, it caught investors’ eye.
High-octane growth names were under pressure on Monday too. That’s names like Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA), Trade Desk (NASDAQ:TTD), Shopify (NASDAQ:SHOP), Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) and Veeva (NASDAQ:VEEV), which all fell 3.5% to 4.6% on the day. The weakness in TTD isn’t surprising, nor is where SHOP stock topped out at. But this group is a favorite among momentum investors. Its weakness is noteworthy and long-term bulls will be waiting for a few more days like today to gobble up the stocks.
There has been some concern about valuations for this group, which could be hitting the stocks today as analysts get shaky up here. Let’s see how they trade the rest of this week. A larger market pullback could really push these ones down.
Bottom Line on the Nasdaq Today
It was a relatively muted day in the markets — with the exception of the Russell. Investors are trying to position themselves amid a very unique situation in the markets.
We’re hovering at or near all-time highs in most major U.S. indices, but have a full plate as well. The Fed is expected to cut interest rates next month, while we head into the G20 summit hopeful for some trade-war progress. That said, we also have to be mindful of after-hours tweets from President Trump that can move the markets in significant fashion — either up or down. Finally, while we have some earnings reports this week, we’ll get into the thick of it in about a month.
So it’s an interesting market, even if Monday didn’t tip its hand much on which direction will be next.
Bret Kenwell is the manager and author of Future Blue Chips and is on Twitter @BretKenwell. As of this writing, Bret Kenwell was long CELG and AMZN.