Stocks Pull Back from Early Record Highs as Stimulus Talks Unclear

The Dow is still above the 30,000 level

Assistant Editor
Dec 9, 2020 at 12:10 PM
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Stocks are cooling off after rising to record highs this morning, as investors digest the latest information regarding additional fiscal stimulus. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico that the two parties were "still looking for a way forward," and he wants Congress to approve a relief bill without legal immunity for businesses, and also devoid of state and local government relief.

Elsewhere, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin proposed a $916 billion stimulus package to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. average 200,000 per day. As a result, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down 74 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) both sit slightly in the red.

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

  • Soup giant quickly dismisses impressive earnings beat.
  • Did this food manufacturer brush off the pandemic?
  • Plus, one airline seeing a surge in calls; more on Rite Aid stock's midday pop; and why GME's quarterly report tanked the stock.

Midday Market Stats December 9

One stock seeing notable options activity today is Spirit Airlines Incorporated (NYSE:SAVE), which was last seen up 1.3% to trade at $26.64. While not up a staggering amount at midday, 77,000 calls have already crossed the tape -- 13 times the intraday average and volume pacing in the top percentile of its annual range -- versus just 641 puts. Most popular by far is the January 2021 27.50-strike call, followed by the 30-strike call from the same series, with new positions being opened at the latter. From a long-term perspective, SAVE has backpedaled 29% over the last 12 months.

Meanwhile, one stock surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Rite Aid Corporation (NYSE:RAD), last seen up 9.8% at $19.88, though the reason for today's rise remains unclear. Earlier, RAD rose to $19.98, just above its former annual high of $19.93. Quarter-to-date, Rite Aid stock has added an impressive 110%.

At the other end of the NYSE, GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) is down 17.2% to trade at $14.03, after the company reported disappointing quarterly results. Though losses were kept in check, revenue was substantially below what Wall Street estimated. As a result, the equity fell below $14 for the first time since Nov. 25, but is seeing a cushion of support at the 40-day moving average. Year-to-date, GME is up 128.3%.

GME Chart December 9 - 2

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