Benchmarks Muted As Investors Eye Big Tech Earnings

The major indexes remain flat this afternoon, as investors get ready for a particularly busy week of corporate earnings and economic data. At last check, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIis up roughly 24 points, while the S&P 500 Index (SPX) is marginally higher, with nearly a third of its components gearing up to report quarterly results. The Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) is firmly in the black as well, with Big Tech names including Alphabet (GOOGL), (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), and Microsoft (MSFT) set to step into the earnings confessional this week. 

Midday Market Stats April 26

One stock seeing an unusual amount of options activity today is Churchill Capital Corp (NYSE: CCIV), after speculation Lucid Motors -- a company that it plans to take public -- is negotiating an electric vehicle partnership with Apple (AAPL). So far, 211,000 calls have exchanged hands, which is five times what's typically seen at this point. Most popular is the 4/30 25-strike call, followed by the 22-strike call in the same weekly series, with new positions being opened at both. The equity was last seen up 15.4% at $23.67, however that is still a far cry from its Feb. 18 of $64.86, which was hit with support from the 10-day moving average. Year-over-year, CCIV is up roughly 195%.  

At the top of the Nasdaq, today is Proofpoint Inc (Nasdaq: PFPT), last seen up 31.8% at $173.70, after it was announced that Thoma Bravo is buying the cybersecurity name for $12.3 billion. As a result, the security blasted past long-term resistance at the $141 level to notch a record high of $174.25. In addition, PFPT broke above recent pressure from the 10-day moving average. Proofpoint stock now sports a 41.9% year-over-year lead.

Meanwhile, near the bottom of the Nasdaq is BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX), last seen down 4.4% at $165.46, after the European Commission launched legal action against AstraZeneca (AZN) for allegedly breaching its Covid-19 vaccine contract. The equity logged a March 23 record of $177.65. Today's negative price action briefly sent BioNTech stock back below the $165 area, though the equity remains up 256.8% year-over-year.

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