Stocks Flat to Start February as "Fear Gauge" Cools Off

The ISM manufacturing index fell to 57.6% in January

Deputy Editor
Feb 1, 2022 at 12:00 PM
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Stocks are seeing muted price action to start the new month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is marginally higher midday, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) lay more flat, as investors unpack late-morning economic data. The ISM manufacturing index fell to a 14-month low of 57.6% in January, as the omicron variant weighed on U.S. factories.

Elsewhere, the latest Job Openings Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) showed job opening increase slightly to 10.9 million in December from the previous month's 10.6 million. With January volatility in the rear view mirror for now, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is trading at its lowest level in two weeks.

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

  • Blue-chip energy giant at 2-year highs after earnings. 
  • MicroStrategy stock pops after buying even more Bitcoin. 
  • Plus, options traders target PBI; UPS surges above key trendline; and newly traded KSCP continues its volatile streak. 

MMC 2122

Pitney Bowes Inc (NYSE:PBI) is seeing a surge in options activity after the tech company's fourth-quarter earnings miss. PBI is down 16.9% to trade at $5.11 and earlier hit an annual low of $4.90. So far, 2,531 calls and 3,458 puts have crossed the tape, volume that's 14 times what's typically seen in PBI's typically quiet options pits. The April 6 put is the most popular by far. Today's bear gap has the stock on the Short Sale Restricted (SSR) list today. 

One of the best performers on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is United Parcel Service Inc (NYSE:UPS), last seen up 12.6% to trade at at $227.73. Today's bull gap comes after the package delivery company posted record quarterly earnings and strong revenue, while also announcing an upbeat forecast. Earlier scoring a new record high of $233.72, UPS is now up 46.7% year-over-year. 


Knightscope Inc (NASDAQ:KSCP), which made its trading debut this past Thursday, is among the worst stocks on the Nasdaq today, down 29.9% to trade at $15.00 at last check. After a volatile few days, today's negative price action has the stock pulling back from yesterday's 31.4% pop, amid news that the security technology name has a new casino client. 


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