Stocks Sharply Lower as Reopening Plays Take a Hit

COVID-19 fears are reemerging amid the spread of the Delta variant

Digital Content Manager
Jul 8, 2021 at 12:10 PM
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The major indexes are firmly lower at midday, as Covid-19 fears reemerge to dampen Wall Street's recent optimism and threaten the prospects of an economic comeback.  The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is down 267 points at last check, and was off as much as 450 points at its session lows. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are swimming in red ink as well, despite both indexes notching record closes yesterday. 

Also weighing on investor sentiment today is steeper-than-expected jobless claims, coming at 373,000 for the week and outpacing the 350,000 estimates. Overseas, Japan has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo ahead of the summer Olympics due to rising Covid-19 cases, as countries across the world struggle with the spread of the Delta variant.

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

  • Cruise stocks are in particularly choppy waters today.
  • United Airlines stock fails to take off despite bull notes.
  • Plus, options traders blast EXPE; pharma stock upgraded; and a volatile meme name to watch.

MMC Stats 708

One stock seeing an unusual amount of options activity today is Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ:EXPE), down 2.5% to trade at $158.87 at last check. Though a reason for today's drop was not immediately clear, Covid-19 fears may be weighing on the travel name. So far, 44,000 calls and 4,027 puts have crossed the tape, which is 12 times the intraday average. Most popular is the November 165 call, followed by the 170 call in the same series. The security had been trading mostly sideways on the charts since surging to a March 18, all-time high of $187.93. Despite shedding 7% in the last three months, the summer outperformer has its160-day moving average in place to contain the slide.

EXPE 160 Day

Meanwhile, Aerpio Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ARPO) is one of the best stocks on the Nasdaq today. The shares were last seen up 58.4% at $2.71, after earlier hitting a two-year high of $2.92. Today's surge came after H.C. Wainwright upgraded the security to "buy" from "neutral," while also raising its price target to $22. The brokerage firm said it expects a 7-to-1 stock split reversal to be applied to 317 million shares once the merger with Abdi Biosciences is complete. Aerpio stock dropped to an annual low of 95 cents on May 10, but is up 105% year-over-year.
 
Near the bottom of the Nasdaq today is Newegg Commerce Inc (NASDAQ:NEGG). The equity is down 33% at $45.26 after yesterday surging to a seven-year high of $79.07. Shares broke out of penny stock territory earlier in January, and had been trading mostly sideways before getting a boost from meme stock momentum last week. Despite today's dip, Newegg stock still boasts a 1,398% nine-month lead.

Trader: Sell These 8 Stocks in 2021

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