Stocks Mixed at Midday, VIX Takes a Breather

The Dow is slightly lower, while the S&P and Nasdaq are inching higher

Digital Content Manager
Jul 1, 2020 at 12:02 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) has given back its earlier gains sparked by Pfizer's (PFE) positive COVID-19 vaccine results to trade roughly 50 points below breakeven by midday. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) and S&P 500 Index (SPX) are hanging on to their gains, but the continual spike in coronavirus cases in the U.S. still looms large over investors. This comes just one day after all three indices clocked their best quarter in decades.

Oil prices are higher at last check, with crude for August delivery up 1.5% at $39.91 a barrel on a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration that stockpiles for last week decreased by 7.2 million barrels, far exceeding analysts' estimates. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), is eyeing a third-straight loss and first close below the 30 level since June 10.

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

  • What Mark Zuckerberg is doing to address hate speech on his social media platforms. 
  • Analysts flock to FedEx stock after a surprise earnings beat. 
  • Plus, bulls eye BYND after big China retail launch; MYOS merger propels stock higher; and INO withers under Pfizer competition.  

Midday Market Stats July 1 new

Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ:BYND) is seeing an uptick in options activity today. So far 115,000 calls have crossed the tape -- three times what is typically seen at this point and  almost five times the number of puts traded. The weekly 7/2 150-strike call is the most popular, and it appears that new positions are being bought to open here. At last check, Beyond Meat stock is up 7.6% at $144.18 on news that it plans to launch its patties in grocery stores in mainland China. 

MYOS RENS Technology Corporation (NASDAQ:MYOS) is by far the best performer on the Nasdaq today, up 255.7% at $3.13 after the nutrition company announced last night a merger and spin-out of muscle health business MedAvail. MYOS earlier hit a new three-year high of $3.63, and is set to conquer recent pressure at its 80-day moving average for the first time since January. 

Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:INO) is one of the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today, dragged lower in the wake of sector peer Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine success. A slew of bear notes are also pouring cold water on the shares. The analyst at Maxim knocked its rating to a "hold" from "buy," while Roth Capital Partners downgraded it to "sell" from "neutral." At last check, Inovio stock was down 18.4% at $22, just one week after touching a 20-year high of $33.79.  


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