Dow Extends Gains as Reopening Stocks Make Comeback

Economic data shows the U.S. economy growing in March

Deputy Editor
Mar 24, 2021 at 12:18 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up nearly 300 points midday, as reopening stocks rebound from the previous session's selloff. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) is sitting in the black as well, albeit much more modestly, while the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is struggling just below breakeven. In terms of sentiment surrounding Covid-19, a global spike in cases is at odds with the rapidly increasing vaccination rate in the U.S. Meanwhile, according to the IHS Markit manufacturing gauge, the U.S. economy grew in March. 

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

  • Bank stock looks to break losing streak after a double upgrade
  • Adobe stock brushes off an upbeat quarterly earnings report and forecast. 
  • Plus, options bears chime in on plummeting VIAC; APTO soars on positive cancer therapy data; and GME receives analyst attention. 

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One stock seeing a surge in options volume today is broadcasting name ViacomCBS Inc (NASDAQ:VIAC). So far, 171,000 puts and 61,000 calls have crossed the tape, with overall volume running at six times what's typically seen at this point. The weekly 4/1 77-strike call is the most popular, where it looks like new positions are being sold to open, suggesting these traders are eyeing the $77 mark as a ceiling for the underlying equity. VIAC is down 15.8% at $76.76 at last check, after the company priced nearly $3 billion in stock offerings. Now contending with its 20-day moving average for the first time since December, the stock is still up 108.4% year-to-date. 


One of the top performers so far on the Nasdaq today is Aptose Biosciences Inc (NASDAQ:APTO). The equity is up 80.9% to trade at $6.63 at last look, after the company reported positive data from its blood cancer therapy study. Furthermore, following yesterday's earnings report, Piper Sandler raised its price target to $12 from $10, while Oppenheimer adjusted its price target to $9 from $8. Today's pop has the equity breaking past a slew of moving averages for the first time since its early December bear gap that plummeted it into penny stock territory. 

Meanwhile, one of the worst performing stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is ever-popular GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME). The electronic name is down 17.7% to trade at $149.50 at last check, after the company announced a potential share offering. To follow, Wedbush chimed in with a downgrade to "underperform" from "neutral," with a price-target hike to $29 from $16. Furthermore, Jefferies raised its price target to an incredible $175 from $15, while Telsey Advisory Group cut its objective  to $30 from $33. Year-to-date, the equity is still up around 685% thanks to this year's Reddit-fueled rally. 



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