Five of the S&P 500’s Biggest Movers on Wednesday

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No. 5: DaVita Inc. (DVA)

Shares of the dialysis and healthcare company gained 4% from $52.55 during Tuesday’s session to $54.65 by the closing bell Wednesday. That marked a sharp rebound from the previous close, which was the worst settlement since June 20 when shares ended the session at $52.41. DaVita stock is now up more than 6% on the year since closing 2018 at $51.46.

DVA’s loss on Tuesday was attributed to President Trump’s newly announced initiative to make kidney care and dialysis more affordable to the millions of Americans who need it. While CEO Javier Rodriguez’s statement Wednesday supporting the administration’s steps “toward holistic, value-based care for kidney patients” may have jolted investors, the 4% jump may simply be a dead-cat bounce wherein speculators bought shares at the lower price to average down their positions. 

No. 4: Align Technology Inc. (ALGN)

Align Technology — which makes the popular Invisalign retainers as well as other oral devices used by orthodontists and dentists worldwide — saw its stock pop 4.1% on Wednesday from $275.41 to $286.65. That marked the best close since June 20 when ALGN shares ended the day at $295.67. With Wednesday’s gain, the stock has now posted a nearly 37% year-to-date return from the Dec. 31 close of $209.43. 

The rally arrived on the heels of an upgrade from research firm ValuEngine, which reported that it’s changed its previous “Hold” rating on ALGN to a “Buy” rating. Align has benefited from several analyst upgrades recently, including investment bank Robert W. Baird & Co. giving the stock an “Outperform” rating and increasing the price target from $255 to $286. 

No. 3: Unum Group (UNM)

Unum Group is a financial services and insurance company that primarily provides benefits to U.S. and U.K. customers. Shares of UNM tumbled 4.86% on the day from $34.55 at Tuesday’s close to a two-week low of $32.87 by the end of Wednesday’s session. With that performance, the stock has climbed nearly 12% from the $29.38 close on Dec. 31. 

The company also fell victim to an analyst downgrade, except this one came from Credit Suisse Group AG (CS). The bank initiated coverage of UNM stock on Wednesday with an “Underperform” rating and a bearish $19 price target, more than 45% below Tuesday’s close. Investors clearly panicked from the news and dumped their positions en masse.

No. 2: Hanesbrands Inc. (HBI)

Shares of the apparel company dropped 4.89% on Wednesday, going from $17.18 to a near one-month low of $16.34. The stock has traded within a wide range for most of the year, with a low of $12.52 on Jan. 3 and a high of $19.14 on Feb. 21. HBI stock is currently up over 30% on the year from the Dec. 31 settlement at $12.53.

ValuEngine seemed to be on a rampage Wednesday, as Hanesbrands was also at the mercy of a rating change. The research firm cut HBI from a “Sell” rating to an extremely bearish “Strong Sell” rating.

No. 1: Western Digital Corp. (WDC)

Wednesday’s largest mover on the S&P 500 was Western Digital, a stalwart semiconductor firm based out of San Jose, California. Shares of WDC climbed 4.97% from $51.48 to $54.04, the best close since April 23 when shares ended the session at $54.45. The stock has been on a tear lately along with the rest of the semiconductor sector, with WDC surging more than 42% over just the last month alone. It’s now up 46.2% in 2019 so far. 

Investors seemed galvanized after the firm announced it secured certification to provide German software firm SAP AG (SAP) with its IntelliFlash portfolio of storage solutions. According to a report from Zacks, Western Digital’s IntelliFlash will let users of SAP’s data management system accelerate workflow and reduce the individual cost of a company’s analytics.

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