Stocks Fall as New COVID-19 Strain Overshadows Stimulus Optimism

Americans could get stimulus checks as soon as next week

Assistant Editor
Dec 21, 2020 at 12:02 PM
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Stocks fell to begin the holiday shortened week, as a new COVID-19 strain in the U.K. kept a lid on enthusiasm surrounding a new stimulus deal in the U.S. Specifically, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is off 172 points at midday, as travel stocks took a hit after the U.K. implemented severe lockdowns and saw border restrictions implemented across Europe. Elsewhere, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are lower as well, as lawmakers today are set to vote on a second stimulus bill, which includes a $600 direct payment to most Americans, nine months after the first round of $1,200 checks were released. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that checks could be sent out as early as next week.

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

Midday Market Stats December 21

One stock seeing notable put activity today is Amicus Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:FOLD). Though the catalyst is unclear, the biotechnology company was last seen up 0.1% to trade at $24, and so far today, 15,000 puts have already exchanged hands -- a staggering 52 times the intraday average and volume pacing in the highest percentile of its annual range -- versus a paltry 45 calls. Most popular is the January 2021 20-strike put, followed by the 19 put from the same series, with new positions being opened at the former. FOLD has had long-term support from its 30-week moving average in 2020, and has tacked on 145% in that time.

FOLD Weekly Chart December 21

Meanwhile, one stock near the top of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Fubotv Inc (NYSE:FUBO), last seen up 12.6% at $44.32, earlier hitting a nearly two-year high of $50.02, as the new strain of COVID-19 have stay-at-home stocks looking even more enticing. Since its public trading debut in early October, FUBO has charged 380% higher.

After Friday soaring to their highest levels in two years, the shares of Curo Group Holding Corp (NYSE:CURO) are sitting near the bottom of the NYSE today, last seen down 11.7% to trade at $14.65. However, the reason for today's plunge is unclear, and CURO still sits a healthy 17.7% above its year-to-date breakeven level..

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