Stocks Mixed as Investors Try to Brush Off Economic Anxieties

Investors are sifting through some key indicators this afternoon

Deputy Editor
Oct 1, 2021 at 12:17 PM
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is up 204 points at midday, after trading sideways this morning as September's anxieties over inflation and slowing economic growth continue to grip Wall Street. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is slightly higher, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is sporting a muted loss.

Merck (MRK) shared a positive update on its oral antiviral Covid-19 treatment earlier, boosting airline stocks, though the news weighed on vaccine stocks. Investors are also sifting through some fresh economic indicators, including personal income data, which added 0.2% in August, and the core personal consumption expenditures price index, which saw a higher-than-expected 3.6% year-over-year rise.  

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

  • The Apple rival call traders have been targeting recently. 
  • How Nio is making waves in the electric vehicle space. 
  • Plus, BMRA strikes agreement with Walmart; FDA roadblock hurts OMER; and why options traders are blasting UAL. 

midday stats ot 1

Biomerica, Inc. (NASDAQ:BMRA) is one of the best performing stocks on the Nasdaq today, last seen up 35.7% at $6.11, following news that the company has struck a deal with Walmart (WMT). The retailer has begun selling Biomerica's EZ Detect colorectal disease screening test online, with first orders shipped earlier this week. The stock is now trading at its highest level since April, and looks ready for its first close above the 320-day moving average in roughly six months. 

bmra chart oct 1

Omeros Corporation (NASDAQ:OMER), on the other hand, is one of the worst performing stocks on the Nasdaq. The security was last seen down 43.4% at $7.80, plummeting after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identified deficiencies in its review of the company's marketing application for narsoplimab, a drug created to treat thrombotic microangiopathy following hematopoietic stem cell transplanst. OMER earlier hit a five-year low of $7.51, gapping below the supportive $13.50 level, after Maxim Group downgraded it to "hold" from "buy." The equity is down 43.6% year-to-date. 

Options traders are targeting United Airlines Holdings Inc (NASDAQ:UAL) today, with over 40,000 calls and 38,000 puts exchanged so far, which is twice the average intraday volume. The most popular is the October 47 put, followed by the 10/1 50-strike put, with new positions being opened at the latter. UAL is up 5.5% at $50.18 at last check, as the travel sector gets a boost from Merck's (MRK) upbeat Covid-19 treatment update. The equity is down 45.3% in 2021, however, though it is eyeing its highest close since mid-July. 

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