Stocks Mixed Ahead of FDA COVID-19 Vaccine Panel

Jobless claims for last week came in at over 850,000

Assistant Editor
Dec 10, 2020 at 11:55 AM
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Stocks are a mixed bag midday, with fiscal stimulus talks seemingly going nowhere while recently released data showed jobless claims rose more than Wall Street anticipated. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down around 40 points, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is flat, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is modestly higher thanks to a tech sector rally.

As daily coronavirus deaths surpass 3,000 in the U.S., upcoming Christmas travel plans have become a hot-button issue, while all eyes are on the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) meeting later today on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Elsewhere, the European Central Bank (ECB) voted to expand its stimulus program by 500 billion euros.

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

  • A $200 million SEC fine is spoiling GE's chances to soar.
  • Is now the right time to buy Spirit Airlines stock?
  • Plus, Starbucks calls flying off the shelves; new highs for Tenet Healthcare stock; and the cause for Fisker stock's plunge today.

Midday Market Stats December 10

One stock seeing notable options activity today is Starbucks Corporation (NYSE:SBUX), which was last seen up 4.4% to trade at $104.83, after the company predicted a strong 2021 rebound. So far today, 48,000 calls have already crossed the tape -- five times the intraday average and volume pacing in the 99th percentile of its annual range -- versus 13,000 puts. Most popular by far is the weekly 12/11 105-strike call, followed by the 104-strike call from the same series, with new positions opening at both. Longer term, Starbucks stock has tacked on 69.2% in the last nine months.

Meanwhile, one stock surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Tenet Healthcare Corp (NYSE:THC), last seen up 16.2% at $40.64,after it was announced that the company is set to acquire a portfolio of up to 45 ambulatory surgery centers in a $1.1 billion cash deal. The equity scored a new five-year high of $41.65 out of the gate, with the 30-day moving average catching pullbacks from earlier in the month.

THC Chart December 10

At the other end of the NYSE, Fisker Inc (NYSE:FSR) is down 8.8% to trade at $15.30, after the company's CEO announced the design of his next vehicle, and Wolfe Research initiated coverage with a "sell" rating. FSR is now trading at its lowest level since early November, but still boasts a 51.6% rise in 2020.

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