Nasdaq, S&P 500 Cling to Gains as February Momentum Cools

Jobless claims and Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments on monetary policy are making headlines

Deputy Editor
Feb 11, 2021 at 12:12 PM
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Stocks are clinging to earlier gains this afternoon, in an attempt to keep up with the market's impressive February momentum. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is trading just below breakeven at midday, after notching its fourth-straight intraday high earlier in the session. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are both marginally higher, as investors take in worse-than-expected weekly jobless claims, as well as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments that monetary policy will remain "patiently accommodative" during his speech yesterday afternoon. 

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

  • Analysts eye even more upside for ZNGA after upbeat 2021 forecast. 
  • Microsoft buyout rumors are giving this major social media stock a big boost. 
  • Plus, Bitcoin's bounce drives option traders to MARA; RCMT surges on hand sanitizer deal; and Tilray stock tumbles as Reddit's latest target.

midday market stats feb 11

Marathon Patent Group Inc (NASDAQ:MARA) is seeing an uptick in options activity today. The cryptocurrency management concern has been incredibly volatile over the past couple of sessions, as Bitcoin surpassed the $45,000 mark. The equity is up 15.7% at $39.35 at last check to trade at fresh three-year highs, completely erasing yesterday's dramatic dip. Circling back to options activity, 97,000 calls have crossed the tape so far, or nearly double the intraday average, compared to 35,000 puts. Most popular by far is the weekly 2/12 40-strike call, where positions are being sold to open. This implies that traders are expecting the $40 level to hold as a ceiling for the underlying stock by the time these contracts expire tomorrow, Feb. 12.  

R C M Technologies Inc (NASDAQ:RCMT) is one of the best performing stocks on the Nasdaq today, up 124% at $8.27 at last check, after AI-Corn Clean Fuels contracted its Thermal Kinetics unit to produce 20 million gallons of ethanol per year to meet an ever-increasing demand for hand sanitizer. Even before today's surge, RCMT was already flying up the charts, with solid support over the past few months at its 20-day moving average. The equity is now trading at its highest level since 1999, and boasts a year-to-date lead of 256.3%. 

RCMT Feb 11

Cannabis stocks are Reddit's latest target, and Tilray Inc (NASDAQ:TLRY) appears to have fallen victim. The equity surged to  two-year highs during yesterday's session, but has now taken its place on the list of worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq today. The security was last seen down 40.5% at $38.04. The shares are still trading well above last week's levels, before the trading frenzy took its hit, and boast an impressive year-to-date return of 339.7%. However, it should be noted that the equity has also been put on the short-sell restricted list today. 

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