Stocks Sluggish as Oil, Bond Yields Rise

The VIX is headed for its highest close in over a week

Managing Editor
Sep 18, 2023 at 12:05 PM
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Stocks are stagnant to kick off the week, with all three major indexes cautiously higher midday. Despite the sluggishness, Wall Street's "fear gauge," the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX) is heading for its highest close in over a week. Oil prices are on the rise as well, and Bitcoin (BTC) is enjoying outsized gains. Bond yields are hot ahead of the central bank meeting that kicks off tomorrow, with the 10-year Treasury yield last seen just off 16-year highs.

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

  • PayPal stock a serious downgrade risk.
  • Food delivery stock gets overdue upgrade.
  • Plus, crypto bulls pounce; VLO pops on oil sector tailwinds; and MRNA stymied.

MMC Stats Sept 18

Options traders are having a field day with Riot Platforms Inc (NASDAQ:RIOT) as part of the crypto sector and broader BTC rally today. At last check, 56,000 calls have already exchanged hands, volume that's double the average intraday amount. The weekly 9/22 11.50-strike call is the most popular, with new positions being bought to open. RIOT is 5.9% higher to trade at $11.41 at last check, and is up 238% in 2023.

Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE:VLO) stock is 1.8% higher to trade at $146.24 at last check, one of the better stocks on the S&P 500 Index (SPX). Energy firms are higher across the board as oil supply tightens, while Mizuho and BofA Global Research hiked their price targets to $174 and $161, respectively. VLO is 15% higher in 2023.

Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA) stock is near the bottom of the Nasdaq, last seen 8.3% lower at $105.05, after Pfizer forecast a 24% Covid vaccination rate in the U.S. for 2023. MRNA is down 41% year-to-date, with last week's flu vaccine-driven rally stalled by its 80-day moving average.

MMC Stock Chart MRNA

 

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