Major Indexes Lower at Midday, Remain on Pace for Weekly Wins

Federal funding is set to lapse on Saturday, but stimulus talks are encouraging

Deputy Editor
Dec 18, 2020 at 12:03 PM
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Stocks are continuing to rapidly pull back from yesterday's record highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) down triple digits, as lawmakers rush to agree on additional fiscal stimulus measures. The blue-chip index is off 186 points at midday, despite encouraging comments regarding aid from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, as federal funding is set to lapse at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are modestly lower, with massive volume expected to occur as Tesla (TSLA) prepares to enter the former index based off of today's close. Lastly, all three major indexes are poised for weekly wins. 

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

  • A look into 11 pot stocks that are higher on analyst charts.
  • Blue-chip pharma giant stock soars on late-stage vaccine trials.
  • Plus, bulls are rushing toward FireEye stock; Curo stock is thriving on M&A news; and GPRK is sinking on the NYSE.

Midday Market Stats December 18

One stock seeing notable call activity today is FireEye Inc (NASDAQ:FEYE), after it was reported that a suspected Russian hacking campaign compromised multiple government agencies, private companies and critical infrastructure entities. The intelligence based cybersecurity specialist was last seen up 10.6% to trade at $15.90, and so far today, 69,000 calls have already exchanged hands -- 12 times the intraday average and volume pacing in the highest percentile of its annual range -- versus just 5,581 puts. Most popular is the January 2021 19-strike call, followed by the December 15 call, with new positions being opened at both. FEYE is trading back above its 30-day moving average, for the first time since a bear gap sunk the equity below $13.60 earlier in December.

FEYE Chart December 18

Meanwhile, one stock near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Curo Group Holdings Corp (NYSE:CURO), last seen up 83.9% at $16.16, earlier hitting a two-year high of $20.81, after benefiting from the merger of Katapult and FinServe Acquisition Corp (FSRV). Longer-term, the equity has jumped an impressive 117% this quarter, with a fresh bounce off the 180-day moving average.

Near the bottom of the NYSE, GeoPark Ltd (NYSE:GPRK) is down 6% to trade at $13.02. Though the reason is unclear, GPRK is back to trading near the $13 mark, after yesterday rising to its highest level since the broader market's mid-March pullback. The equity has tacked on 35.6% over the last months, with recent support from the 10-day moving average. 


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