Stocks Mixed Ahead of Fed Speech

Better-than-expected jobs data is giving sentiment a lift

Assistant Editor
Mar 4, 2021 at 12:14 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up 70 points at midday, amid better-than-expected weekly jobs data, with initial jobless claims totaling 745,000 for last week. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is struggling for direction, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) sit modestly in the red, as investors remain wary of the 10-year Treasury yield, which now holds at 1.46, and its effect on the tech sector. Looking for guidance on the economy, investors are eagerly awaiting remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell early this afternoon. Elsewhere, gold prices are near their lowest level in nine months. 

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

  • Fitness stock falters after analysts' weak growth forecast. 
  • SNOW is seeing a flurry of activity from analysts and option traders today. 
  • Plus, Option traders rush to FPRX after buyout; BURL shoots to record highs; and WPG hits fresh lows on bankruptcy buzz.

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One stock seeing a surge in options activity today is Five Prime Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:FPRX). So far today, 6,100 calls and 17,000 puts have crossed the tape -- 112 times the usual daily volume already. Most popular is the March 35 put, followed by the March 40 call, with new positions being opened at both. Today's influx of trades comes after news Amgen (AMGN) will acquire the biotech company for $1.9 billion. The stock is surging in response to the news, too, up 77.9% at $37.83 at last check. 

Another stock soaring higher on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Burlington Stores Inc (NYSE:BURL). The shares are up 12.6% at $285.71 at last check, after the department store retailer reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. Today's pop has BURL breaking out past pressure at the $272 level, staging a bull gap toward fresh all-time highs. Year-over-year, the stock is up around 30%. 

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Conversely, the shares of Washington Prime Group Inc (NYSE:WPG) are plummeting today. The equity is down 38.9% at $3.80, after a Bloomberg report came out that the mall real estate investment trust (REIT) is considering filing for bankruptcy. The security is trading at its lowest level on record today, breaching former support at the $6 mark earlier in the session. Year-to-date, WPG is down 42.6%. 

Trader: Sell These 8 Stocks in 2021

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