Stocks Slip, Still on Track for Historic August Gains

Apple and Tesla's stock splits are going into effect

Deputy Editor
Aug 31, 2020 at 12:05 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down over 150 points at midday, as the blue-chip index's stock shake-up goes into effect. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is in the red as well, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) sits firmly in the black as Apple (AAPL) and Tesla (TSLA) rise after their respective stock splits. Despite today's lackluster price action, the Dow is still on track for its best August since 1984, while the S&P 500 eyes its best August since 1986. Elsewhere, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is heading toward its best day since July 13.

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

  • Gilead stock is jumping after a coronavirus treatment update.  
  • Virgin Galactic stock just received a lofty bull note. 
  • Plus, TAL puts popping; AKCA soars to February levels; and RGS sinks after its quarterly report. 

mmc august 31

One stock seeing notable activity in its options pits is TAL Education Group (NYSE:TAL), last seen down 3.6% at $74.12. Though the reason for today's surge is unclear, 2,491 puts have crossed the tape so far -- 6 times the expected rate. Most popular is the September 70 put, followed by the 72.50 put, with new positions being opened at the latter. 

Scaling the Nasdaq today is Akcea Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:AKCA), up 60.5% at $18.27 at last check, after it was announced that Ionis Pharmaceuticals (IONS) will acquire the remaining 24% stake in the company. Trading above the $18 level for the first time since February, the equity is currently up 7.7% year-to-date. 

akca august 31

On the other hand, dropping toward the bottom is Regis Corporation (NYSE:RGS). The stock is down 12.7% at $7.93 at last check, after the salon company reported wider-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter losses, despite higher-than-anticipated revenue.Despite the now 59% year-to-date deficit, the damage appears to be contained by the $7 level.


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