Benchmarks Make Moves on Rising Interest Rates

Investors are also unpacking a slew of economic data

Assistant Editor
Mar 18, 2021 at 12:20 PM
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Bond yields are on the rise once again, and the broader market is responding in turn. Investors watched closely as the 10-year Treasury yield jumped up over 1.75% to its highest level since January 2020, while the 30-year Treasury bond climbed above 2.5% for the first time since August of 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up over 165 points midday, once again hitting a record intraday high, as bank stocks enjoy the rate spike. Predictably, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is down triple-digits, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) sits more modestly in the red midday.

There is some economic data to unpack as well. Initial weekly jobless claims haven't helped sentiment much, coming in at a higher-than-expected 770,000. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's manufacturing index read at 51.8, which is much higher than the expected 22 and its highest point in almost 50 years. 

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

  • How red-hot Signet Jewelers stock hit a two-year high.  
  • Peloton stock faltering despite upbeat production data.   
  • Plus, newly public UPST sees option volume surge; WSM jumps to record highs; and ZTO plummets after earnings. 

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One stock seeing an unusual amount of options volume today is Upstart Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UPST). So far, 21,000 calls and 17,000 puts have crossed the tape -- 47 times what's typically seen at this point. New positions are being opened at the very popular March 100 and 135 calls, which expire tomorrow. UPST is up a whopping 82% to trade at $110.72 at last check, after the company reported an earnings beat despite lower revenue than anticipated. To follow, Jefferies raised its price target to $81 from $66. Going public in mid-December, the stock is up 205.9% in the last three months, now reaching its highest levels ever. 

One stock surging on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (NYSE:WSM). The stock is up 19% at $162.40 at last check, after the company reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings and revenue. In response, no fewer than eight analysts raised their price targets, with the highest from Telsey Advisory Group and Wedbush, which both listed their estimates to $175. Today's pop has WSM gapping above recent pressure at the $140 level to reach a new record high. 

WSM MMC

On the other hand, China-based ZTO Express (Cayman) Inc (NYSE:ZTO) is falling lower today, down 8.6% at $30.14 at last check. The delivery service reported slightly worse-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings per share after the close yesterday, alongside a revenue beat. Trading was halted at the open this morning, and its also worth noting that ZTO has found itself on the short-sell restricted (SSR) list. Year-over-year, the stock is up around 19%. 

Trader: Sell These 8 Stocks in 2021

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