S&P Nears Record High, Eighth-Straight Win

The Nasdaq is falling as underperforming tech stocks outweigh the positive sentiment

Assistant Editor
Aug 11, 2020 at 12:01 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up over 300 points midday, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) hovers in the black near a record high as "reopening stocks" such as airliners and cruise names outperform. Both indexes are eyeing their eighth straight win as coronavirus vaccine claims from Russia -- despite several confirmed caveats -- have bumped up positive sentiment. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is deep in the red as Big Tech continues to struggle. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is heading for its fifth straight loss and lowest close since Feb. 21.

Continue reading for more on today's market, including: 

  • Analysts are skeptical of this faltering weed stock
  • Canada Goose stock migrated lower alongside its forecast. 
  • Plus, JCI call options surge; staffing company sees bull notes; pharmaceutical stock plummets on delayed vaccine trial. 

MMC August 11

One stock seeing notable activity in its options pits is Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE:JCI), last seen up 3.4% at $41.45. So far, 22,000 calls have crossed the tape -- 33 times what's typically seen at this point. Most popular is the October 40 call, where new positions are being opened. Today's call surge comes after the company appointed Diane Schwarz as Chief Information Officer, plus an upgrade from RBC to "outperform" from "sector perform," with an added price-target hike to $46 from $36. 

One stock scaling the Nasdaq today is staffing company Kforce Inc (NASDAQ:KFRC), up 29.9% at $41.26 at last check -- on track for its best single-session percentage gain in over 17 years -- after announcing better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the second quarter. To follow, both Credit Suisse and Truist Securities chimed in with price-target hikes -- to $36 and $35, respectively. Year-to-date, the equity is up 4.2%. 

Conversely, dropping on the Nasdaq is Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO), down 21.2% at $14.96 at last check. Today's fall comes after the drug company announced a delay in the study of its potential coronavirus vaccine, with late-stage trials not beginning until September. In response, Stifel cut its price target to $16 from $24. Today's pullback has found support its 100-day moving average, and INO is still up 353.3% year-to-date. 

INO August 11


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