Stocks Resume Shaky Trading as September Marches On

The Cboe Volatility Index could erase yesterday's pullback

Deputy Editor
Sep 16, 2021 at 12:08 PM
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Stocks have resumed their September slide at midday, sinking into the red after a muted morning. Investors are weighing a surprise pop in August retail sales against another round of disappointing jobless claims for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Index (DJI) was last seen down 223 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are notably lower as well.

On the Covid-19 front, Moderna (MRNA) announced new data showing breakthrough infections of the virus were less likely to occur in those recently vaccinated. Meanwhile, continued September volatility is boosting Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX), helping it erase nearly all of yesterday's pullback. 

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

  • Why bulls flocked to Cisco stock today. 
  • Piper Sandler changed its tune on Beyond Meat stock
  • Plus, IRNT benefits from gamma squeeze; AERI sags after failed drug study; and options bears bombard YY.  

midday stats sept 16

One of the best performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Ironnet Inc (NYSE:IRNT). The equity was last seen up 21.2% at $39.20, and is now sporting a 264% year-to-date lead. The stock is extending an impressive rally into its third day, as it undergoes a gamma squeeze, while also holding onto the top spot on trading-related social media site StockTwits today. IRNT also hit an all-time high of $45.81 earlier.

Aerie Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:AERI) is one of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq today, down 28.4% at $11.24 at last check. The company announced its dry eye treatment, AR-15512, failed to meet its primary goal in a mid-stage trial. The stock is trading at 10-month lows today, and plummeted back below the 40-day moving average -- a trendline that has guided AERI lower over the past several months. The security is down 15.4% in 2021. 

AERI chart sept 16

JOYY Inc (NASDAQ:YY) is seeing a surge in bearish options activity. At last glance, 9,562 puts have exchanged hands, which is eight times the intraday average, compared to 965 calls. The most popular is the January 2022 45-strike put, followed by the 10/1 46-strike put, with positions being opened at the former. YY is off 0.6% at $54.67 this afternoon, and while the reason for the drop isn't immediately clear, the stock is now down 34.6% year-over-year. 

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