Indexes Trade Mixed at Midday as Tech, Blue Chips Weigh

Retail data is a big market mover today

Deputy Editor
Aug 14, 2020 at 12:16 PM
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The major benchmarks are hovering around breakeven today, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) up just under 30 points and the S&P 500 Index (SPX) hovering just out of reach of its all-time closing high. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is falling alongside various blue-chip names, reversing yesterday's gain in tech as travel stocks rise. Meanwhile, investors are digesting mixed retail data, and news the second coronavirus bill will remain stalled in Washington until September.  

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

  • Analysts chime in on tech giant after earnings.
  • Auto stock catches bull note on hiring plans. 
  • Plus, SWN sees surge in call volume; biotech company soars on FDA approval; and CODX falls on a quarterly miss. 

MMC August 14

One stock seeing notable activity in its options pits is Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE:SWN), up 5.6% at $3.08 at last check, after the company announced a public offering of 55 million shares at $2.50 per share. So far, 41,000 puts have crossed the tape -- 32 times what's typically seen at this point. Most popular are the September 2.50- and 3-strike puts, with positions being opened at the latter. Year-to-date, the equity is up 27.4%. 

One stock scaling the Nasdaq today is Mesoblast Limited (NASDAQ:MESO), up 42.5% at $16.82 at last check, after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted in favor of the company's lead drug candidate, remestemcel-L, for transplant rejection treatment. On track for its best day since April, the equity is up 130.7% year-to-date. 

Conversely, dropping on the Nasdaq is Co-Diagnostics Inc (NASDAQ:CODX), last seen down 19.9% at $16.81. The company reported second-quarter earnings and revenue below analyst estimates, after which, H.C. Wainwright cut its price target to $33 from $35. Now, the equity is on track to close below its 50-day moving average for the first time since January, though it still sports a more than 380%  six-month gain. 



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