Stocks Trim Losses, Eye Solid Weekly Gains

The VIX is eyeing its fourth-straight win

Deputy Editor
Oct 2, 2020 at 11:58 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down over 150 points midday, but has pared steeper morning losses stemming from the shocker that U.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump both tested positive for COVID-19. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also in the red as tech shares decline, though all three benchmarks are on track for weekly gains. Amidst this pullback, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), is eyeing its fourth-straight win.

Nonfarm payrolls came in lower than expected and showed a slowdown in the hiring process, though the unemployment rate fell to 7.9% for September, dropping for the fifth-straight month. Meanwhile, though a $2.2 trillion second stimulus package passed the House, it will most likely be halted by the Senate Republicans. 

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

  • This semiconductor stock is the best stock to own in October, historically. 
  • Shake Shack stock boosted by a brand-new bull note
  • Plus, NNOX sees options volume ahead of live demo; ARA surges on buyout; and MESO drops on FDA decision. 

MMC Oct 2

One stock seeing notable options activity is Nano-X Imaging Ltd (NASDAQ:NNOX), up 38.3% at $33.16 at last check, after the company announced a live  demonstration of its medical imaging technology. So far, 7,122 calls 2,076 puts have crossed the tape -- 15 times the average intraday amount and volume already at a new annual high. Most popular are the October 35 and 40 calls, with new positions being opened at both.

Surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is American Renal Associates Holdings Inc (NYSE:ARA), up 67.8% at $11.61 at last check. Today's pop comes after the announcement that a unit of private equity firm Nautic Partners LLC will buy the company for nearly $400 million, and shareholders will receive $11.50 per share, a 66% premium to last night's close. Surpassing its Dec. 12 annual high of $10.60, the stock is now up 92% in the last 12 months. 

Meanwhile, dropping lower is Mesoblast Ltd (NASDAQ:MESO), last seen down 35.8% at $11.94, after the FDA declined to approve -- and requested another clinical trial of -- its experimental transplant rejection treatment drug remestemcel-L. To follow, H.C. Wainwright cut its price target to $19 from $21. Although today's plummet is set to be MESO's worst single-session decline since June 2016, the equity is up 61.1% year-to-date and the damage appears to be contained by its 200-day moving average.

MESO mmc


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