Quadruple Witching Adds Pressure to Fragile Markets

Major indexes are seeing a choppy session

Laura McCandless
Mar 20, 2020 at 12:06 PM
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After a morning of attempted rebounds, the volatile market gave back most of its early gains midday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), has moved back below breakeven at last check. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also fighting to stay in the black, the latter the only success in this at midday. Adding to the chaos is today's "quadruple witching," the quarter-end expiration that could end up leading to a less choppy market -- according to strategist at J.P. Morgan & Chase, Marko Kolanovic.

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

  • FAANG stock perseveres despite store closings.  
  • GameStop falls after analyst slam.
  • Plus, MYL’s unusual options; the stock seeing a massive surge; and the resort name making a comeback.

midday market stats mar 20

One stock sporting unusual options volume today is pharma name Mylan NV (NASDAQ:MYL), last seen up 8.7% to trade at $16.16. So far the global pharmaceutical company stock has had 14,000 calls cross the tape so far and only 2,000 puts. Most popular by far is the April 20 call, followed by the March 19 call. This surge in the options pits comes after the company increased their output of malaria drugs for potential COVID-19 use. MYL remains down 20% year-to-date.

Topping the Nasdaq today is Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:BLPH), up 542.7% to trade at $21.79, at last glance, earlier touching an annual high of $26. After a record low of $3.18 yesterday, March 19, the stock is surging after news that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed emergency use of its proprietary inhaled nitric oxide (INOpulse) for the treatment of COVID-19. Over the past 12 months, BLPH has added 55%.

MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM) is surging to the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today, up 32.7% to trade at $10.22, on its way back up after a bear gap culminating in a decade low of $5.90 on March 18. This rise comes after stimulus measures offer comfort to the travel and entertainment industry. Despite its impressive recovery on the day, the equity still has a ways to go to reach the once supportive 30-day moving average.

mmc chart mar 20


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