Dow Struggles Despite Big Tech, Mnuchin Testimony

Investors turn their eyes to Washington amid testimonies concerning the CARES Act

Deputy Editor
May 19, 2020 at 12:09 PM
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Following yesterday's best market session in six weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is just below breakeven at midday, as investors turn their attention to testimonies by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in regard to the pandemic and progress of the CARES Act. Mnuchin stated that the government is "fully prepared to take losses," on virus bailouts, leaving the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) to hover in the black, with losses by the latter pared by big tech gains. 

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

  • Home Depot stock's rebound rally falters after earnings.
  • Comcast stock caves under bear note.
  • Plus, calls are popular for this computer hardware stock; PIXY pops on new partnership; and Bellerophon Therapeutics stock slides.

mmc may 19

One stock seeing unusual options activity today is HP Inc (NYSE:HPQ), up 1.7% at $16.40 at last check. The computer hardware giant has seen 37,000 calls cross the tape so far -- eight times the usual rate. Most popular is the weekly 5/29 18-strike call, where new positions are being opened. Though the reason for this rise in call volume is unclear, the equity is down 19.5% year-to-date and today is running into overhead pressure at the 60-day moving average. 

hpq mmc may 19

Topping the Nasdaq today is ShiftPixy Inc (NASDAQ:PIXY), up 120.5% at $14.09 at last check, after announcing a partnership with Del Taco parent, Diamondback DTNM LLC. Over the past 12 months, PIXY has lost 57.1%, and looks to be finding new support today at the 200-day moving averag, though its still seeing pressure at the $60 ceiling.  

On the other hand, trading near the bottom of Nasdaq is Bellerophon Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:BLPH), down 16.1% at $13.55 at last check, after announcing its public stock offering of $13 per share, and concurrent registered direct offering. Gapping back below uthe 30-day moving average, the equity is down 11% on the month.


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