Stocks Head for Weekly Losses as States Rescind Reopening

The Dow is down over 500 points midday

Lillian Currens
Jun 26, 2020 at 12:13 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is sinking deeper into the red midday, down over 500 points after Texas said it will roll back some of its reopening measures in response to an alarming spike in coronavirus cases in the state. This announcement is weighing heavily on the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) as well, compounding this morning's losses sparked by Fed fears. All three major indexes are heading toward sizable weekly losses. Meanwhile, the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), Wall Streets "fear gauge," is up 8.9% at the midday mark, but still on pace to notch a modest loss for the week. 

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

  • One retailer bucking the broad-market selloff. 
  • Harley-Davidson stock is sputtering after a job cut announcement
  • Plus, options bulls jump on AZN after WHO update; MDCA soars on possible merger; and SOLY dinged by discounted stock offering. 

midday stats jun 26 new

AstraZeneca plc (NYSE:AZN) -- one of the handfuls of companies working toward a potential coronavirus vaccine -- is seeing a lot of bullish activity in its options pits today. So far, 46,000 calls have exchanged hands -- five times the intraday average -- compared to just 446 puts. The August 65 call is the most popular by far, with new positions being bought to open. Buyers of these calls imply traders are eyeing more upside for AZN by the time these contracts expire in August.

At last check, the security is down 0.7% at $52.64, struggling against the broad-market landslide, even after the World Health Organization's (WHO) chief scientist on Friday identified AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine as the world's leading candidate. 

MDC Partners Inc (NASDAQ:MDCA) is the top performer on the Nasdaq today, up 111.8% to trade at $2.44 and heading toward its best single-day percentage jump ever. This comes after the company formed a special committee of independent directors who will evaluate the advertising firm's potential business merger with Stagwell. The stock notched an annual high of $2.88 earlier today, and toppled its 120-day moving average -- a trendline that snuffed out MDCA's last attempt to rally in early June. 

One of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today is Soliton Inc (NASDAQ:SOLY). The security is down 30% at $8.30 after selling 4.2 million shares at $8.30 per share, which stands at a deep 30% discount to last night's close. The shares of the medical device manufacturer are trading back below their 30-day moving average, which had previously helped guide the stock up to the $15.50 level in mid-June. 


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