Stocks Struggle Amid Uncertain Path Ahead

Investors are wary as states begin to ease lockdowns

Deputy Editor
May 13, 2020 at 12:11 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down over 330 points midday as economic data and increasing uncertainty due to Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments on potential "downside risks" weigh on the market. As states begin to ease lockdowns, CEO of The Earnings Scout, Nick Raich, wrote that "everything is dependent on the next several months and how successful businesses can re-open." The energy-heavy S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are both moving lower as well, though tech stocks are helping pare some losses for the latter. 

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

  • Casino stock casting out Japan expansion plan.
  • Twilio stock inches toward record-high territory.  
  • Plus, the grocery giant seeing a surge in call options; AVNW gets a boost from its quarterly report; and the medical device name brushes off an upgrade.

mmc chart may 13

One stock seeing unusual options activity today is Kroger Co (NYSE:KR), up 2.8% at $34.48 at last check. The supermarket giant has seen 21,000 puts cross the tape so far -- 15 times what's typically seen. Most popular are the weekly July 34- and 36-strike puts, with positions being opened at the latter. Kroger has been steadily rising on the charts, with re-emerging support at the 50-day moving average. Though the reason for the rise in volume is unclear, today's pop has KR up 18.8% year-to-date. 

new kr mmc chart may 13

Topping the Nasdaq today is Aviat Networks Inc (NASDAQ:AVNW), up 35.1% at $12.68 at last check. This rise comes after the company posted better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results. Up 39.1% in the last month, AVNW is still down 10% year-to-date. 

On the other hand, near the bottom of the Nasdaq is Pulse Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:PLSE), down 10.3% at $11.73 at last check. The company is still reeling from its wider-than-expected first-quarter loss on Monday evening. This drop comes in spite of H.C. Wainwright's upgrade to "buy" from "neutral," and price-target raise to $16. Despite its recent overall improvement on the charts, PLSE still sports a year-to-date deficit of 14%. 


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