Stocks Waffle as Recession Anxieties Resurface

Investors are looking ahead to the Fed's July meeting minutes, set for release tomorrow

by Lillian Currens

Published on Aug 20, 2019 at 11:55 AM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has muscled atop breakeven today, erasing a triple-digit deficit, with Home Depot (HD) stock up more than 4% after earnings. However, Treasury yields have dipped as recession anxieties begin to bubble up again, sending bank stocks lower. Wall Street is also anticipating the Fed's meeting minutes for July, which are expected out tomorrow afternoon. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) are mixed at midday. 

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

  • Why analysts are wary of these 2 stocks ahead of earnings. 
  • The FDA rejection that has the brokerage bunch berating this biotech with bear notes. 
  • Plus, BIDU's earnings report rocks the options pits; Cemtrex scales the Nasdaq; and the penny stock plunging on a halted trial. 

Midday Market Stats Aug 20

Chinese internet stock Baidu Inc (NASDAQ:BIDU) is seeing a surge in options volume today, following the firm's better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and revenue. So far, 69,000 calls and 52,000 puts have exchanged hands -- five times the intraday norm. Most popular is the September 165 put, followed by December 120 put, with contracts being opened at the latter -- possibly part of a bearish roll. The most popular call is the weekly 8/23 115-strike contract, with positions being bought to open. At last glance, BIDU is up 7.1% at $111.61. 

One of the top performers on the Nasdaq is Cemtrex Inc (NASDAQ:CETX), after posting a per-share loss of $1.59 for its fiscal third quarter, which was slimmer than last year's loss of $2.40, topping expectations. The electronics manufacturing stock is up 39.4% at $2.13, on course for its first close north of its 20-day moving average since June. 

CETX Aug 20

NuCana PLC (NASDAQ:NCNA) is one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq today, following news that its late-stage metastatic pancreatic study was suspended, after futility analysis showed the primary efficacy objective was unlikely to be met. Trading was halted earlier today, but has since resumed, with NCNA down 35.1% at $4.75. The stock hit an all-time low of $4.01 today, too, and is on course for its biggest one-day drop on record. This, just one day after NuCana scored a major vote of confidence from analysts.


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