Stocks Post Afternoon Gains as "Fear Gauge" Cools

U.S. President Joe Biden called recent debt ceiling talks "productive"

Deputy Editor
May 17, 2023 at 11:57 AM
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Wall Street is holding onto premarket gains, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) up more than 120 points, as investors bet on lawmakers to avoid an unprecedented debt default. In a statement from the White House, U.S. President Joe Biden called the meeting "productive," saying "I'm confident that we'll get the agreement on the budget."

The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and tech-heavy the Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) are also in the black, while the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is set to snap a three-day losing streak.

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

  • What's weighing on EVgo stock.
  • Web development stock brushes off stellar quarterly report.
  • Plus, VFC calls pop; an insurance stock stays hot; and a sinking software stock. 

Midday Market Stats May 172023

VF Corp (NASDAQ:VFC) is 0.2% lower to trade at $20.55, after Citigroup cut its target price on the stock to $22 from $28. Call traders are undeterred, however, with the 5,451 bullish bets exchanged so far running at four times the intraday average amount. Most popular by far is the June 22.50 call, followed by the August 20 put. VF Corp stock has worked its way lower on the charts for much of the year, down 25.8% in that time frame and trading near its annual lows.

VFC Chart May 172023

National Western Life Group Inc (NASDAQ:NWLI) is up 35.1% this afternoon to trade at $361, after the company revealed plans to explore a sale, merger, or another strategic alternative. Now trading near the top of the Nasdaq, NWLI is up 75% in the last 12 months. 

Enterprise software concern Agilysys, Inc. (NASDAQ:AGYS) is down 14.% at $66.38 today, even after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter results that beat Wall Street's estimates. Year-to-date, AGYS is down nearly 19%.


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