Dow Erases Wild Rally To Record Highs As Bond Yields Peak

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) is off over 99 points midday, erasing yesterday's wild rally to a record close. The S&P 500 Index (SPX) and Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) are also deep into the red, tumbling as tech resumes its selloff. Bond yields are continuing to rise at an alarming rate, with the 10-year Treasury yield surging above 1.49% -- its highest level in one year. Also on Wall Street's radar, this afternoon is another round of jobless data. This time around, claims came in at 730,000 for the week, lower than the 845,000 expected. Durable goods data also bested estimates, rising 3.4% for January.

midday stats feb 25

Major Covid-19 vaccine name Moderna Inc (Nasdaq: MRNA) is seeing a surge in options activity today, after its fourth-quarter revenue blew analysts' expectations away, helping the stock brush off wider-than-expected losses per share. The firm also forecasts $18.4 billion in vaccine sales for 2021. At last check, MRNA is up 7.1% at $155.22 and sports a 431.2% year-over-year lead. So far today, 44,000 calls have been exchanged -- almost double the intraday average -- compared to just 13,000 puts. The July 170 call is the most popular, followed by the weekly 2/26 155-strike call, with new positions being opened at both. 

Pandion Therapeutics Inc (Nasdaq: PAND) is one of the best performers on the Nasdaq today, more than doubling on news that Merck (MRK) made a bid to buy the biotech company for $1.85 billion, or $60 per share -- a 134% premium to last night's close. The stock was last seen just south of this number, up 132.4% at $59.57, after earlier today hitting a record high of $59.75. PAND first went public in late July, with an initial public offering (IPO) price of $18 per share. The security is now up a whopping 301.3% this year, toppling a long-term ceiling at the $24 mark.  

One of the worst-performing stocks on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) today is Ping Identity Holding Corp (NYSE: PING). The security was last seen down 22.8% at $25.01, following a fourth-quarter revenue miss. While the company's earnings of nine cents per share met Wall Street' estimates, four analysts issued scathing bear notes. Credit Suisse, for one, cut its price target to $30 from $34, and downgraded PING to "neutral" from "outperform." The analyst warned against near-term headwinds and potentially sluggish business transitions. The equity is now trading at its lowest level since December, breaching former support at its 100-day moving average for the first time in almost two months. 

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