Major Indexes Mixed on Vaccine News, Earnings

Investors are still keeping an eye on stimulus talks

Digital Content Manager
Oct 27, 2020 at 11:51 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down roughly 160 points at midday, erasing this morning's gains after the U.S. reported yet another record of 69,967 new coronavirus infections every day over the last week -- the highest seven-day average recorded so far, according to an analysis of John Hopkins University data. Meanwhile, Pfizer (PFE) data that would determine the efficacy of its vaccine candidate is now unlikely to come before the U.S. presidential election.

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is just below breakeven, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) sits marginally higher, as investors digest a slew of earnings reports. Elsewhere, traders are also keeping an eye on stimulus negotiations after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's spokesperson said she remains "optimistic" about a deal following Monday's call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

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

  •  Pharma giant beats analysts' estimates.
  • Options traders eye Caterpillar stock post-earnings.
  • Plus, tech company surges on buyout news; HOG rises on quarterly win; and CHGG brushes off bull notes.

Midday Market Stats 1027

One stock seeing notable options activity today is Xilinx, Inc (NASDAQ:XLNX), up 9.7% at $125.60, earlier hitting a fresh annual high of $130.40. The positive price action comes after semiconductor designer Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) said it would buy the company in a $35 billion all-stock deal. As a result, 27,000 calls and 22,000 puts have crossed the tape so far, which is seven times the average intraday amount. Most popular is the weekly 10/30 126-strike put, followed by the 135-strike call in the same series, with new positions being opened at both. Year-over-year, XLNX is up 33%.

Surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG), up 22.4% at $35.46. Today's notable bull gap came after the motorcycle manufacturer reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts' estimates. The security had been slowly climbing up the charts since April to more than double off its March 23, 11-year-low of $14.31, with continued support coming from the equity's 50-day moving moving average. In the last six months, HOG has gained 59.6%. 

Meanwhile, dropping lower is Chegg Inc (NYSE:CHGG), last seen down 12.2%, at $76.10. The substantial drop comes despite the tech company posting better-than-expected quarterly results and revenue. CHGG has also earned no fewer than three price-target hikes, including one from Jefferies to $105 from $99. The equity is slipping below the once-supportive 20-day moving average. Longer term, CHGG is still up 133.5% year-over-year.

 CHGG 20 Day

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