Dow Drifts Lower as COVID-19 Concerns Simmer

Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) are applying for FDA approval today

Assistant Editor
Nov 20, 2020 at 12:05 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down almost triple-digits midday, as the dimming prospects of a smooth economic recovery puts a strain on investor sentiment. The rising number of coronavirus cases, and ensuing lockdown restrictions in many states such as California, is also weighing heavily on Wall Street, despite news that Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) are applying for emergency use authorization from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their coronavirus vaccine today.

Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is just below breakeven, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is treading water with a marginal gain. Elsewhere, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is pushing to end a portion of the Federal Reserve's emergency credit funding programs brought about by the pandemic, which has led to pushback from the central bank. 

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

  • Acquisition will have PNC tailing "The Big Four Banks."
  • Costco stock highlighted ahead of dividend payment, earnings. 
  • Plus, FEYE options surge after Blackstone investment; oil and gas stock soars; and NNDM plummets on ADS pricing.

MMC Nov 20

One stock seeing notable options activity today is FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), up 5.7% at $15.05 at last check, after reports that Blackstone is investing $400 million into the company. To follow, UBS and BMO raised their price targets to $16 and $17, respectively. So far today, 41,000 contracts have have crossed the tape -- eight times what's typically seen at this point. The November 15 call is the most popular, followed by the November 15 put -- both expiring at the end of the day, and new positions being opened at the latter.

FEYE MMC

Meanwhile, jumping higher on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is HighPoint Resources Corporation (NYSE:HPR), up 19.8% $13.57. HPR is possibly still buzzing from yesterday's news that Bonanza Creek Energy has taken 46.5% active stake in the company. The security broke out past close pressure at the 10-day moving average earlier this week, since rallying to its highest level since early October. Now, it remains to be seen if the $15 level will serve as a ceiling, as it did last month. Year-to-date, the stock is down 84%. 

Elsewhere, Nano Dimension Ltd (NASDAQ:NNDM) is plummeting, down 28.2% to trade at $4.20 at last check, after the company raised its equity offering for the second time, now selling $25 million of American Depositary Shares (ADS) at $4 per share. Dipping deeper into penny stock territory after its recent rally that had it near its Oct. 6 annual high of $6, the equity is still up 66.8% year-to-date. 

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