Stock Market Continues Volatile Plunge Midday

Oil fell to historic lows earlier as well

Deputy Editor
Mar 18, 2020 at 11:54 AM
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Amid uncertainty surrounding a fiscal response and the need for bailouts, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is continuing to lose ground, down over 1,300 points at its session lows. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are both deep in the red too -- triggering another "limit down" trading halt before the bell -- amid the rampant volatility brought on by the unchecked spread of coronavirus. Oil is continuing to take historic hits as well, with April-dated crude dropping over 12% today, its lowest point since 2002.

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

  • Two auto stocks dropping after new health measures. 
  • Dunkin' Brands stock upgraded despite restaurant industry struggles. 
  • Plus, LHCG’s unusual options; the stock surging with news of its COVID-19 test, and Ryman Hospitality stock plummets.

MMC stats Mar 18

One stock sporting unusual options volume today is healthcare services name LHC Group Inc. (NASDAQ:LHCG), last seen down 0.3% to trade at $106.91. So far, over 1,400 puts have crossed the tape -- 17 times the average intraday amount -- compared to a meager nine calls. Most popular is the December 18 put, where new positions are being opened. The company recently announced efforts to combat coronavirus and last month gapped below its 120-day moving average.

mmc chart mar 18

One stock topping the Nasdaq today is Biomerica Inc (NASDAQ: BMRA), up 168.4% to trade at $6.36, and earlier hitting a two-year high of $7.99. This comes after the drugmaker announced it will start shipping COVID-19 sample tests outside the U.S. BMRA is fresh off an annual low of $2.05 yesterday, but has more than doubled year-over-year.

Situated near the bottom of the New York Stock Exchange is Ryman Hospitality Properties Inc (NYSE:RHP). The real estate investment trust (REIT) is down 33.4% to trade at $13.46, and earlier traded at an 11-year low of $13.25. This comes after RHP drew $400 million from its existing $700 million line of revolving credit and suspended future dividends until April 5. The equity is down 84.2% year-to-date.


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