Stocks Extend Morning Losses as Second Wave Fears Grow

European governments are considering severe COVID-19 restrictions

Digital Content Manager
Oct 15, 2020 at 12:12 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down 141 points at midday, extending this morning's freefall as investors attempted to grasp a handful of headlines. For one, jobless claims have surged to their highest level since August, and a second round of stimulus seems unlikely to happen before the election, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Meanwhile, European governments are implementing severe restrictions to curb a second wave of coronavirus, with France declaring a state of health emergency and the U.K. considering another national lockdown. Also in Europe, a plan to limit the power of Big Tech is gaining steam, sending Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) plummeting. As a result, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also notably lower.

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

  • At least one COVID-19 vaccine candidate is "on track."
  • Unpacking this pharmacy stock's blowout earnings.
  • Plus, entertainment stock drops on Dutch tender offer; Cars.com surges on prelim quarterly results; and FSLY drops after TikTok usage disappoints.

Midday Market Stats 1015

One stock seeing notable options activity today is AMC Networks Inc. (NYSE:AMCX), down 8% at $21.84 at last check. The big drop came after the entertainment concern shared the preliminary results of its modified Dutch auction tender offer. As it stands, the company expects to buy nearly 11 million tendered shares for just under $254 million. So far today, 19,000 calls have crossed the tape, as opposed to 18,000 puts -- eight times the average intraday amount. Most popular is the monthly November 30 call, followed closely by 30 put in the same series. Following this announcement, RBC hiked its price target on the security to $33 from $30. Year-over-year, AMCX is down 53.9%.

Surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Cars.com Inc (NYSE:CARS)up 15.7% at $9.27 at last check. Today's surge came after the company announced strong preliminary third-quarter results, with revenue expected to be around $144 million. As a result, Craig-Hallum upgraded the equity to "buy" from "hold," and raised its price target to $14 from $12. Prior to this bull note, the security had already been chopping higher on the charts, with support from the 60-day moving average. And while CARS has some ways to go before it reaches this year's pre-pandemic Feb. 6 high of $13.47, the stock has gained 139% in the last six months. 

CARS 60

Meanwhile, dropping lower is Fastly Inc (NYSE:FSLY), last seen down 25.6% at $91.61. The massive bear gap came after the cloud computing company slashed its third-quarter revenue outlook to roughly $70 million from about $75.5 million, saying platform usage by its largest customer, which analysts believe to be Chinese-owned TikTok, did not meet expectations due to an uncertain geopolitical environment. In turn, the security received no less than five price-target cuts, including one from Stifel to $77 from $98. Before the news sent shares plummeting, the stock had nabbed an all-time-high of $136.50 on Oct. 13, and now boasts a year-to-date gain of 362%.


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