Major Indexes Mixed, On Track for March Wins

The Chicago PMI rose to its highest level since September 2018

Assistant Editor
Mar 31, 2021 at 12:15 PM
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The major benchmarks are mixed midday, as investors await U.S. President Joe Biden's infrastructure spending "Build Back Better" plan. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is up over 213 points midday, as tech shares rebound, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is enjoying more modest gains, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) dips into the red. Still, all three major benchmarks are on track for monthly wins, with the previously lagging Nasdaq now eyeing a monthly gain thanks to today's pop. 

Ahead of Biden's speech, there is plenty of economic data to sift through. Private payrolls data showed a 517,000 jump in March, while the Chicago purchasing managers index (PMI) rose to 66.3 in March from the previous 59.5 -- its highest since July of 2018. However, pending home sales slid 10.6% in February. 

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

  • CHWY attracts bull notes after upbeat quarterly results. 
  • Semiconductor stock sees record highs on new coverage
  • Plus, options traders tag CLF after upbeat guidance; GNLN surges after m&a news; and RMO plummets on fourth-quarter results. 

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One stock seeing a surge in options volume today is Cleveland-Cliffs Inc (NYSE:CLF). So far, 124,000 calls and 20,000 puts have crossed the tape -- seven times what's typically seen at this point. The weekly 4/1 20-strike call is the most popular, where new positions are being opened. At last check, CLF was up 15.3% to trade at $19.88, after the steelmaker provided strong current-quarter and full-year guidance. On the charts, CLF's recent pullbacks were caught by long-term support at the 100-day moving average. Today, the security hit a seven-year high. 

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One of the top performing stocks on the Nasdaq today is vapor name Greenlane Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:GNLN). The stock was last seen up 26.2% at $5.67, after the company announced slimmer-than-anticipated fourth-quarter losses per share as well as a merger. Greenlane will acquire KushCo in an all-stock deal to create a leading ancillary cannabis company. GNLN has dipped in and out of penny stock territory since the start of the year, managing to secure a Feb. 10 annual high of $8.73, and finding support at the $4 level. Year-to-date, the equity is up around 28%. 

Meanwhile, Romeo Power Inc (NASDAQ:RMO) is one of the worst performers on the Nasdaq so far today, down 17.7% to trade at $8.53 at last check, earlier hitting an all-time low of $8.30. This negative price action comes after the company reported dismal fourth-quarter results, causing Cowen and Company to cut its price target to $12 from $18. A far cry from its Dec. 28 record high of $38.89, the equity's March breakout attempt was thwarted by the 30-day moving average. Year-to-date, RMO is down 61.6%. 

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