Tech-Heavy Nasdaq Drops as Bond Yields Rise Once Again

Investors are eagerly awaiting the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision and Powell's comments later today

Assistant Editor
Mar 17, 2021 at 12:08 PM
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Stock Futures are mixed midday, while the closely watched 10-year Treasury yield holds at its new annual high of 1.67%. Tech stocks, a consistent adversary to the rising bond yields, are dropping lower, sending the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) down nearly 145 points at last check. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is modestly in the red, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI), which yesterday snapped a seven-day win streak, is trading marginally higher. Investors are eagerly awaiting the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision as well as comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Still, the individualized stimulus check and vaccine rollout are helping lift sentiment as well as several economic growth stocks. 

 

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

  • Carl Icahn hoping to help scandal-ridden FirstEnergy stock push higher.
  • Crowdstrike stock's earnings beat brings plenty of bulls to the table.  
  • Plus, SMAR sees options surge after upgrade; WLFC jumps to an annual high; and RUBY drops amid share offering. 

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One stock seeing an unusual amount of options volume on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Smartsheet Inc (NYSE:SMAR). So far, 2,800 calls and 565 puts have crossed the tape, which is 10 times what's typically seen at this point. The May 80 call is the most popular by far, where new positions are being opened. SMAR is down 2.7% at $66.74 at last check, despite a better-than-expected fourth-quarter report. Plus, J.P Morgan upgraded the stock to "overweight" from "neutral," while BMO cut its price target to $83, and Citigroup raised its estimate to $76. Year-over-year, SMAR is up 81.9%. 

Willis Lease Finance Corporation (NASDAQ:WLFC) is surging today, up 20.2% to trade at $42.48 at last check, after Charles F. Willis, IV indicated that he would be interested in acquiring all outstanding shares for $42 a share. Now reaching an annual high, WLFC is at its highest level since its pandemic-induced tumble last March.  

WLFC MMC

Conversely, Rubius Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:RUBY) is one of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq, down 15.6% at $27.02 at last check. Part of this negative price action could be correcting from the last two days of soaring on the charts, after the company reported upbeat cancer therapy trial data and received no fewer than four price-target hikes. However, the company's offering of 6.9 million shares of common stock, priced at $29 per share, is also weighing. Year-to-date, the equity is still up an impressive 262.3%. 

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