Stocks Brush Off Economic Data, Strong Earnings

Better-than-expected jobless claims couldn't boost stocks

Assistant Editor
Apr 22, 2021 at 12:07 PM
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Stocks are struggling for direction at midday, following a day of strong gains that saw the major benchmarks snap a two-day drop. Despite strong earnings and upbeat jobless claims data, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) was last seen down roughly 70 points. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is flat, with pressure coming from energy and materials, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is marginally higher.

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

  • This pharmaceutical name couldn't shake weak sales.
  • Southwest stock got a boost from positive quarterly results. 
  • Plus, BUD sees flurry of call action; AI concern scores U.S. government contract; and Evolus stock plunges after equity raise.

Midday Market Stats April 22

One stock attracting unusual options activity today is Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (NYSE:BUD). So far, 9,772 calls have exchanged hands, which is a staggering 10 times the intraday average. Most popular is the monthly May 80 call, followed by the weekly 5/14 80-strike call, with new positions being opened at both. At last check, BUD is up 1.2% at $70.48, after Coca-Cola (KO), Colgate-Palmolive (CL), and Unilever (UL) joined its 100+ Accelerator, which aims to fund and pilot sustainable supply chain innovations. BUD is now set to lock in its fifth win in seven sessions, with support from the 10-day moving average. Year-over-year, Anheuser Busch stock boasts a 69.7% lead.

BUD Chart April 22

At the very top of the Nasdaq today is Renalytix AI PLC (NASDAQ:RNLX), last seen up 19.8% at $30.21, after the artificial intelligence (AI) name scored a 10-year U.S. government contract. Renalytix stock has already had an impressive 2021 run, further cemented by its March 15, all-time high of $32.12. And though RNLX slipped below the $28 level later that month, the 80-day moving average kept losses in check. Year-to-date, the equity is up 86.3%.

Pacing the Nasdaq laggards today is Evolus Inc (NASDAQ:EOLS), last seen down 18.1% at $9.60, and falling below the $10 area for the first time since February. This comes after the company sold 9 million shares at $9.50, raising over $85 million to fund the growth of Botox competitor Jeuveau. On the charts, the equity is also slipping below its 70-day moving average for the first time since Jan. 6. Still, year-over-year, EOLS is up 123%.

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