Dow Cautiously Optimistic on Vaccine News

The rapid spread of coronavirus cases is paring positive vaccine sentiment

Assistant Editor
Nov 18, 2020 at 11:58 AM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up over 125 points midday, on track to recover most of yesterday's losses and continue its recent rally. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are flat and marginally lower, respectively, amid cautious optimism over the newest coronavirus vaccine update from Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech's (BNTX). However, the rapidly rising rate of infections is keeping gains in check today. Elsewhere, the rate of housing starts for October beat estimates, and investors are awaiting statements from a slew of Federal Reserve officials today.

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

  • Here's what Pfizer and BioNTech's final update did to their stocks. 
  • A look at this discount retailer ahead of earnings tomorrow. 
  • Plus, PCG options surge on CEO news; KZIA soars to five-year high; and KC drops after its quarterly report.

MMCNov18

One stock seeing notable options activity on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), up 8% at $12.66 after the utility company appointed former CMS Energy exec Patricia Poppe as CEO. So far, 48,000 calls and 15,000 puts have crossed the tape -- six times what's typically seen at this point. The June 14 call is the most popular, followed by the June 10 put, with new positions being opened at both. Today's pop has PCG above the $12 level for the first time since June.

PCG Nov 18

Meanwhile, Kazia Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:KZIA) is up 31.5% at $12.99 at last check, after the biotech company released positive data on a mid-stage study of its drug candidate paxalisib -- used to treat glioblastoma. Now trading at a five-year high, KZIA is up 204% year-to-date and 113% in November alone.

On the other hand, China-based Kingsoft Cloud Holdings Ltd (NASDAQ:KC) is down 9.8% at $33.66, despite the cloud computing company reporting a narrower-than-expected third-quarter losses and a revenue beat. After its initial public offering (IPO) of a midpoint of $16-$18, KC is still up 67% in the last six months. 

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